Romaus Cessario, OP, wrote a treatise on faith and the theological life, which is a life based on faith, hope, and love. These virtues are established in human beings by Christ through grace.1 The foundation of this life is Christ, who exemplified these virtues so perfectly that He demonstrates what true humanity is and ought to be. Christ’s humanity cannot be neglected.

Concerning Christ’s humanity and salvation, Cessario writes:

The humanity of Christ—conjoined to the divine Person of the Word and united with other human beings in virtue of a shared human nature—remains the instrumental cause of God’s saving work: Christ’s humanity is the instrument through which and by means of which God “moves” human beings toward their destiny in union with him.2

It is more common to hear of Christ hailed as God than it is to hear of Christ hailed as human. Without Christ’s humanity, all one has is a transcendent Jesus to whom none can relate. It is because Christ is fully human that Christ relates to us and we to Him. I sometimes wonder if groups that overemphasize Christ’s divinity to the neglect of his humanity hinder a believer’s discipleship. Can one pick up one’s cross and follow the otherworldly Jesus? Hardly. Yet one can pick up the cross and follow a divine Jesus who was completely human as any of us.

The celebration of Advent is not about only about the divine Son, but about the divine Son made human. May the following video remind us that He was exactly like us, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15).

______

1. Romanus Cessario, Christian Faith and the Theological Life (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1996), 16.[Back]
2. Ibid., 21.[Back]