Dear Father Angelo,
My name is Massimiliano. I would like to ask you a few questions, which, despite the fact that I have a very solid ecclesial communion, no priest has ever answered them satisfactorily.
My questions concern the Nature of Jesus and the end of times.
1) Being truly God and truly Man, Jesus Christ cannot be reduced to humanity alone, in the sense that although he was a man in aspect, he was different from other Men. I mean, he had a perception of reality, which was “different” from men and a sensitivity, that is an ability to “feel” pain, emotions, and feelings in an amplified way compared to men.
So, the difference between Jesus and men was ontological.
Is it correct?
2) We are children of God and joint heirs of Christ. Does it mean that the human nature changed and became like the nature of God? Personally, I absolutely deny it, but some fellow believers say that we are miniature gods!
What do you think about it?
3) On an eschatological level, the image given by the Prophet Daniel of the “Son of Man” always struck me: “As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him” (Daniel 7,13).
Who is this Son of Man?
Could it be Jesus?
Could it be a man, born therefore with original sin who mysteriously, through the work of the Holy Spirit, abandons the sinful human condition to get the Divine nature of Jesus?
And then, Jesus who comes back on the clouds of heaven to finally take possession of his royalty as Lord of Heaven and Earth and spouse of the Church?
Thank you very much for your attention.
Answer from the priest
1. As far as Jesus Christ is concerned, you must remember that the Person of Jesus is a divine Person.
Jesus is God who became flesh.
By becoming flesh, he took on a human nature identical to ours, except for disordered inclinations and sin.
Hence, from an ontological point of view, his human nature is no different from ours. It is identical to ours.
2. However, Jesus’ way of living emotions is not identical to ours, because of his knowledge that is infinitely deeper than our knowledge.
On the higher side of his human soul, he enjoyed the vision of beatitude.
Conversely, on the lower side, he suffered pain due to the sins, and a participation in human suffering, which are greater than those of all men put together.
This is St. Thomas’ teaching.
It means that Jesus’ feeling emotions was infinitely deeper than ours. However, His feeling emotions was not ontologically different from our feeling emotions because, after all, Jesus’ nature is also a human nature.
3. Being children of God and joint heirs of Christ does not mean that the human nature changed and became a God-like nature.
Our nature always remains human. We keep being men all the same.
However, we are made partakers in the life of God.
Thus, we do not become God.
We keep being men who become partakers in the divine nature (of Christ).
Let me make a comparison: the iron that is put into the fire keeps being iron.
Nevertheless, it becomes fiery like fire, that is, it is made a partaker in the nature of fire. However, it keeps being iron all the same.
4. This is true, even though in the Bible, the children of God are also called ‘gods’.
This is what Jesus refers to, when he answers the Jews with the following words: Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:34-36).
5. That son of man, of which Daniel speaks, is Jesus.
This is why the Messiah was awaited and named as the Son of man.
Jesus refers to himself several times using this title.
6. However, what you added is incorrect, namely that Jesus was born with original sin.
You must not forget that the Person of Jesus is a divine person. He is God who became man.
He took on a human nature like ours, which bears the consequences of original sin and is therefore liable to suffering and death.
Nevertheless, his human nature had no disordered inclinations like ours.
The Holy Scripture says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).
7. Thus it is not correct to say that Jesus abandoned human nature to take on the divine one.
He always kept his human nature, in his passion, in his resurrection, and in his glorious ascension to heaven.
With the only difference that now his human nature is glorious, and therefore partaking in the life of Paradise and no longer liable to suffering and death.
8. It is with his humanity that Christ entered Heaven.
What you say at the end of your email is true: Jesus will come back on the clouds of heaven to finally take possession of his royalty as Lord of Heaven and Earth.
He will go back there as a man clothed in his glory, as he manifested himself ahead of time on the mountain of the transfiguration.
I wish you well, I name you to the Lord, and I bless you.