An Easter Homily

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The divinity of Christ is sometimes disputed. In some instances it is believed that there is no scriptural evidence to support the notion of Jesus Christ’s divinity. Others also dispute the related point that contests the reality of a Holy Trinity: Father, Son and, Holy Spirit. I refer to the Douay-Rheims version of the bible because is a scrupulously faithful translation into English of the Latin Vulgate Bible which St. Jerome (342-420 AD) translated into Latin from the original languages. For an authentic English translation it makes sense to return to the earliest reliable source. With this in mind here are a few observations.

Genesis 1:26:

And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.

Commentary of verse from Genesis:

‘Let us make man to our image: This image of God in man, is not in the body, but in the soul; which is a spiritual substance, endued with understanding and free will. God speaketh here in the plural number, to insinuate the plurality of persons in the Deity.’

So we find here scriptural evidence of The Trinity from the earliest book of the bible.

There are plenty more OT biblical references from Isaiah and elsewhere but especially so in the NT. For instance in The Gospel of John verses 8:58, “Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.”

And, John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.”

Douay-Rheims biblical commentary on 10:30 verse from John:

‘I and the Father are one: That is, one divine nature, but two distinct persons.’

The Gospel of John shows us the divinity of Christ and also a glimpse of the Holy Trinity. Of course the divine mystery of Three in One is finally revealed in John 14:16-17:

“And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.”

Commentary:

‘Paraclete: That is, a comforter: or also an advocate; inasmuch as by inspiring prayer, he prays, as it were, in us, and pleads for us. For ever: Hence it is evident that this Spirit of Truth was not only promised to the persons of the apostles, but also to their successors through all generations.’

And from John 14:26,

“But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.”

Commentary:

‘Teach you all things: Here the Holy Ghost is promised to the apostles and their successors, particularly, in order to teach them all truth, and to preserve them from error.’

So here we have scriptural evidence of Jesus of Nazareth’s divinity and also The Holy Trinity. But some might now say what about a verse further on…what about John 14:28?

You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I.

The Douay-Rheims commentary again provides insight and explanation into revealed Truth:

‘For the Father is greater than I: It is evident, that Christ our Lord speaks here of himself as he is made man: for as God he is equal to the Father. (See Phil. 2.) Any difficulty of understanding the meaning of these words will vanish, when the relative circumstances of the text here are considered: for Christ being at this time shortly to suffer death, signified to his apostles his human nature by these very words: for as God he could not die. And therefore as he was both God and man, it must follow that according to his humanity he was to die, which the apostles were soon to see and believe, as he expresses, ver. 29. And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe.’

This exploration into the scriptural evidence for The Holy Trinity and the divinity of Jesus Christ who died for our sins on the Cross for our eternal salvation draws to a close in the words of Saint Paul who said in his letter to the Philippians (2:1-15):

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of charity, if any society of the spirit, if any bowels of commiseration: Fulfill ye my joy, that you may be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment. Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves: Each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men’ s. For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:

Commentary: ‘Emptied himself’: exinanivit, made himself as of no account.

And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation. For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will. And do ye all things without murmurings and hesitations; That you may be blameless, and sincere children of God, without reproof, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; among whom you shine as lights in the world.

Amen.

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