Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
July 19, 2010
Jesus is the Son of God
Don't make Jesus less than he is, priest tells Family Life Conference
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
Jesus is not some "enlightened guru" who has been elevated to the divine, says Father Scott McCaig.
"Jesus is God come down to us in the flesh to reveal the fullness of who God is," the Ottawa missionary priest told about 200 young people during the annual Family Life Conference at Lac Ste. Anne July 1-4.
"There is nothing esoteric or New Age about Jesus. It's just the opposite. He is the Jewish Messiah, the messiah of the whole world; he is the saviour of the world."
McCaig, general superior of the Companions of the Cross, spoke to teens aged 15 to 17 at the conference. He addressed the question: Is faith in Jesus reasonable?
Several other priests spoke at the conference which commemorated the recently concluded Year for Priests.
A GOOD GUY?
McCaig said skeptics today often describe Jesus as a good guy - somebody deserving of respect and admiration but not of worship.
"The problem with that argument is that Jesus didn't claim to be a good man. He didn't claim to be a wise teacher or a guru. What he claimed was that he was divine," he said.
"He claimed to be the way and the truth and the life for everyone. So if he is not speaking the truth then he is not a good man at all. He is either a very bad man or he is a lunatic.
"(But) very bad men don't give you the highest, and in some ways the most difficult, moral code that's ever been given to humanity," McCaig said.
"Lunatics don't calm storms, raise the dead and heal the sick. So we are really left with one option: that Jesus didn't just talk the talk; he walked the walk. He put his money where his mouth is. He didn't just make claims; he vindicated them."
McCaig said talking about Jesus today is important because there are people out there "trying to make him something less than he is." In his presentation he gave an overview of some modern attacks on Jesus and Catholicism and explained why they fail.
Skeptics would say that the story of Jesus in the Gospels is just a myth and that the New Testament is unreliable because it was written hundreds of years after the death of Jesus.
McCaig disputed that claim, saying the first of St. Paul's letters was written about 18 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. "All of the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament were written within the lifetime of the apostles."
After his resurrection, many of Jesus' followers said that they saw him.
"The apostles said they ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead," McCaig told his audience. "Paul tells us that over 500 people saw him at once in one of these appearances."
Those who saw the risen Jesus "became very courageous witnesses to what they had seen and heard," spreading the faith all over the ancient world, McCaig continued.
"They suffered ridicule, loss of family, loss of property, loss of wealth, hardships, torture and exile.
APOSTLES GAVE THEIR LIVES
"All but one of the apostles was murdered - they were fed to the lions, drowned, cut to pieces, crucified, you name it. Sounds like they were very convinced to me."
So do the Bibles today present the same thing written 2,000 years ago by the apostles?
"The answer is yes," McCaig said. "You can trust what is written in your Bible. These things happened; they really took place."
The reason some events in the Bible are not in chronological order is because the Gospels were not meant to be chronological histories, he said.
"They weren't worried about that. What they wanted to do was to tell you about the life-saving work of Jesus."
McCaig told the youth that if they turn their life over to Jesus, "he will show you he is real so powerfully that you will never need to look at another scrap of historical evidence again, because he will be active in your life."
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