Gospel Reflection for
Second Sunday of Lent
A BLACKSMITH EXPLAINS THE HYPOSTATIC UNION
The reason Christ is so unique is because He is, as we profess each week in the Creed, true God and also true man.
Jesus is one person: the eternal Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. But ever since the Incarnation, when he became man, this one person has possessed two natures: human nature, and divine nature.
Theologians call this great mystery the hypostatic union, the union of two natures, complete in themselves, in just one person. Jesus is God made man; not just an exceptionally wise and privileged man, but God himself, Creator of the world, who entered into the world in order to save the world. There is an old story that can help us grasp this truth.
The village blacksmith was a Catholic. Into his workshop one day walked the village atheist, who was always eager to argue and talk about religion. As he watched the blacksmith welding two pieces of iron together over the flame, he made a comment: “That’s what I mean when I say that Christ is not God. “See those two pieces of iron, red-hot. “You put them together with heat. They make one piece. “That’s what I think about Christ. He has only one nature – a human nature.”
The blacksmith responded: “But suppose I took a bar of gold and bar of iron, heated them and worked them together. What would I have – all gold or all iron? “Neither. There will be a piece of gold and a piece of iron, even though there is just one bar. “Although they are entirely different, they make just one thing. “That’s how it is with Christ. He has the nature of God and the nature of man. Though distinct from each other, they make but one single person – Jesus Christ.”
It is this hypostatic union which qualifies Jesus to be the world’s only Savior and Redeemer, beloved of the Father, the answer to all our questions.
(From ePriest, February 2024)