Thursday, January 15, 2015

Knowing what's real

Today's first reading ends with

We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.

The word translated here as reality is a word that sits at the very heart of the Christian faith, hypostasis. I actual saw one translation of the Bible that reduced it to "confidence", but it is far more than that.

It's most literal meaning would be underpinning or foundation, that on which everything else is built. It is the true reality, the substance of a thing, what you get to when you move beyond the surface or appearance.

The new translation of the creed speaks of Son as being consubstantial with the Father, and much has been made over the deciding to use an uncommon word. I would suggest that perhaps we need to us an uncommon word to describe an uncommon reality. Why should we dumb down the Christian faith. Instead, let's educate our people.

Understanding the hypostasis, the person, of Jesus Christ is the very foundation of what it means to be Christian and in a very real sense we will never understand him completely in this life. But we should never stop trying.