In John 12:44-55, Jesus gives a impassioned warning of the coming judgment. But what is the judgment?:
 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.  And he who sees me sees him who sent me.  I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.  If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.  And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”
Jesus, acting with Divine Authority, makes the nature of judgment clear. Consider:
- It is critical to put one’s self in the drama of this moment to understand its full impact. Jesus is offering the last address of His public ministry. This is the culminating message that His wishes the masses to understand prior to the Passion. Of particular note, Jesus “cried out”; when God yells, we should all pay attention!
- Jesus first clarifies that He has been sent from God; Jesus has the absolute authority of the Divine.
- Jesus then points out that there are 3 kinds of responses to His message of love:
- Those who hear Jesus’s words and come to the light (John 12:46).
- Those who hear’s Jesus’ words and then does not keep them (John 12:47).
- Those who reject Jesus’ words (John 12:48).
- Those who hear Jesus’s words and keep them will have eternal life (John 12:49).
- Those who do not keep Jesus word’s or reject His words, will face the Judgment.
It is important to realize is that it is not Jesus who will judge each soul, but each soul will be self-judging; based on the standard of Jesus’ word, each soul’s life will be the evidence at Judgment and either either condemn or save each soul.
Jesus desires to save the world (John 12:47; 3:16). But to be saved, one must desire to be saved. One must come to the light (John 12:46) of Jesus.
Perhaps an analogy might help: Imagine that you are sleeping in the comfortable darkness of a room with thick curtains. Someone throws open the curtains to let in the brilliant morning light and the light is excruciating to your eyes: you just can’t stand the light.
So it is with the Final Judgment. If we have lived a life of darkness, a life of sin and the rejection of the Light, we will not be able to stand the brilliance of the Perfection of God. That brilliant light of God will shine on our sins, and unrepenant, our own lives will testify against us.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead all to repentance and to live in the Light.
Why is it so hard to be happy? Despite the great wealth and relative freedom that many in the Western world enjoy, happiness is elusive. Watch any channel on t.v. and one is bombarded with all kinds of discontent; advertising that seeks to bring attention to unmet “needs”, people searching and competing for fame and wealth and attention, a continual news cycle that amplifies human selfishness as one abuses another. In this age of “enlightenment”, the ultimate human enlightenment of simple happiness is elusive.
In the quest to quell the pain of discontent, people turn to psychologists who offer all kinds of “treatments” to cure, or at least alleviate, discouragement and depression. These psychological treatments include approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy and the prescribing of anti-depressants. TV “psychologists” and pop-gurus of all sorts diagnose and assert all kinds of advice to help the forlorn. Despite man’s best efforts to treat the pain of being human, depression, suicide, substance abuse and other addictive behaviors are at epidemic levels. Why can’t we all just be happy?
In John 15:9-17, Jesus, the Divine Psychologist, gives Man the keys to true joy:
 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  This I command you, to love one another.
Jesus offers His Divine insight into the psychology of happiness:
- Jesus makes it clear that He is giving Man the key to the ultimate happiness; joy: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
- It’s important to note that Jesus considers Himself joyful (My joy may be in you…). Often, Jesus is presented as a melancholy person, sorrowful and burdened; quite the opposite, Jesus is telling of His own joy.
- Jesus is not talking about something fleeting or partial happiness; He is talking about something amazing and wonderful. What Jesus is promising is His joy: can there be anything more joyful then the joy of God Himself? This is a joy that is full, without room for more, a joy that lacks nothing and can’t be exceeded. It is friendship with Jesus Himself (John 15:14).
- What is the key to this kind of joy? A life of love!
- Jesus specifically links the gift of joy to those who keep His commandments. Jesus asks for obedience (John 15:10,12, 17) to His commandments and links keeping His commandments to joy. And Jesus’ “net-net” commandment is “To love one another.”
- The commandment “to love” is not some pie-in-the-sky 1960’s “all you need is love” kind of love; it is a sacrificial love. “Greater love has no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Of course, Jesus will go on to demonstrate this exacting kind of love shortly in the Passion.
- Jesus also making it clear that personal fruitfulness in love is key to joy: “…you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…” One can not expect to find joy in self-indulgence or in the personal search for happiness; joy comes from self-giving, self-sacrificing love.
If you really wish for joy, turn to Jesus Christ, the Divine Psychologist. He knows how the human mind works, what is broken and how to fix it; He created you, after all!
Only Jesus Christ can offer everlasting joy. Ask Him. He’ll respond.
Does Jesus make you happy? Why?
The Purposeful Incarnation of Jesus Christ
As part of God’s plan of sheer goodness, the Father sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior (CCC 1). In the Incarnation (meaning, the ‘act of being made flesh’), God purposefully chose to come to Man (CCC 456). By becoming flesh, Jesus demonstrates God’s love (CCC 458), so that Man might have a perfect model of how to love God and neighbor (CCC 459) and so that Man might be able to participate in God’s divine nature, becoming adopted children of God (CCC 460).
The Importance of the Physical Jesus Christ
The Church places a great emphasis on the importance of Christ’s physical body. “Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity, Christ’s body was finite. Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed…” (CCC 476). “At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus “we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see.” The individual characteristics of Christ’s body express the divine person of God’s Son. He has made the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image, for the believer “who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted” (CCC 477).
The Physical Jesus Christ
Scripture, history and meditation offer insights into the Physical Jesus Christ. Jesus:
- Is physically attractive – Jesus, in some way, reflected the appearance of His mother, the Virgin Mary, who in apparitions is purported to be beautiful (e.g. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lourdes, etc.). From the Nativity, people’s reactions suggest that Jesus was physically attractive: the Magi (Matt 2:11); the Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20); Simeon (Luke 2:25-35); Anna (Luke 2:36-38). A woman interrupts Jesus, likely moved by His charm and beauty, and said “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you” (Luke 11:27-28). The Shroud of Turin, potentially the burial shroud of Jesus, suggests that Jesus’ appearance was that of an attractive, robust Jewish man.
- Has a penetrating gaze – Jesus had a powerful gaze that attracts the attention of crowds (Luke 6:20) and that He uses to get His point across (Mark 3:34, 10:23-25; Luke 19:5). His gaze can be angry, silencing even those who hate Him (Mark 3:5) and it can be severe (Luke 20:17-18). Other times Jesus’ gaze offers compassion and love (Mark 10:21), projects powerful certainty (John 1:42) and has a poignancy that cuts to the heart (Luke 22:61-62).
- Wore attractive clothing – Jesus wore a cloak with colored tassels (Matt 23:5, 9:20-21) like an observant Israelite (Num 15:38; Deut 22:12). His tunic was expensive because it was seamlessly woven; at the Cross, the soldiers gambled for it (John 19:23-24).
- Has a powerful voice – Jesus preaches to thousands of people out of doors (Matt 5-7; John 6) without the need for amplification. Jesus raises His voice, rebuking Peter (“Get behind me, Satan!” Matt 16:23) and frightening people (John 2:13-16). He calls Lazarus from the dead in a loud voice (John 11:43) and cries out in loud voice at His own death (Mark 15:34).
- Is physically strong – Jesus worked long years as a carpenter (Matt 13:55, Mark 6:3; CCC 423), a physically demanding job in the 1st century (CCC 564). As itinerant preacher, Jesus walked many miles (one source suggests 25,000 miles, the circumference of the earth). Jesus walks across a stormy sea and lifts the sinking Peter out of the water (Matt 14:22-33). Jesus climbs mountains (Matt 14:23, 17:1-9, John 6:3). He violently cleanses the temple, physically intimidating the crowd of money-changers and traders (Mark 11:17). The Shroud of Turin wrapped a robust, well-muscled man.
- Has significant stamina – As a child, Jesus is toughened through the arduous journey to Egypt and back (Matt 2:14, 21). Jesus spends three years in a grueling ministry, traveling long distances, working long hours, often without time to eat (Mark 3:20, 6:31), constantly giving Himself to all who seek Him (Mark 1:36-37). Jesus sometimes prays through the night (Luke 6:12) and in the early morning (Matt 14:23; Mark 1:35). His last trip to Jerusalem (Luke 19:28) was a 6-hour hike with over 3000 feet in elevation increase.
- Is physically tough – Jesus survives for 40 days in the desert without provisions prior to the Temptation (Matt 4:1-11). He often is homeless, sleeping in the out of doors (Matt 8:20; Luke 9:58). He endures tremendous physical punishment during the Passion: Jesus sweats blood (Luke 22:44), is beaten (Matt 26:67 27:30), walks over 2 miles while being paraded before the Jewish leadership, Pilate and Herod, is scourged with 120 wounds, some to the bone, is crowned with thorns the size of 8-penny nails and carries His heavy Cross (200 pounds), ½ mile uphill to Calvary (Matt 27:27-50), falling three times and scraping the flesh off His knees.
- Has physical charisma – At 12 years old, Jesus impresses the teachers in the Temple (Luke 2:47). Jesus calls the disciples and they immediately leave everything behind (Mark 1:17; Luke 5:27). Jesus projects great authority (Matt 7:29, Mark 1:22-28, 6:2, 2:7). Large crowds are drawn to Him (Mark 3:7-12) and they seek to make Him King (John 6:15). The Centurion (Matt 8:6-8) and the Canaanite woman (Matt 15:22-28) called Him, “Lord”.
- Can be physically imposing – If the Shroud of Turin is Jesus’ burial cloth, He was over 6 ft. tall, above average in 1st century Palestine. Even weakened after the Temptation, Jesus commands Satan: “Be gone Satan!” and “the devil left Him” (Matt 4:10-11). He clears the Temple (Matt 21:12-16). He stands up against the Nazareth mob that tries to cast Him off a cliff (Luke 4:28-29) and the bloodthirsty mob that is going to stone the adulterous woman (John 7:53-8:11). He strikes fear in the hearts of His enemies and silences them (Mark 4:nn; Mark 11:18; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27). He causes the Roman guards and temple guards to “draw back and fall to the ground” at Gethsemane (John 18:6).
- At times, projects a supernatural physical presence – When Jesus is transfigured on the mountain, the disciples “fell on their faces, and were filled with awe” (Matt 17:6) and “were exceedingly afraid” (Mark 9:6; Luke 9:34).
As the Son of God, Jesus Christ had Divine Brilliance, for He is the Light of the World (John 8:12).
But many men today are blind to the awesomeness of Jesus’ Divine Brilliance, so it’s not a surprise that many men are casual in their faith.
It’s easy for men to miss just how awesome Jesus Christ is because of the difficulty in understanding what is happening in the historical context of the Gospels and being able to relate the events of the Gospel to modern times.
Here is one way to begin to open one’s self up to cooperate with the Grace of Christ and re-ignite one’s hunger for faith: Begin to read scripture with the belief and intent to see the awesomeness of Jesus.
“Only Jesus is Awesome” – Here is a three step process to grow in awe of Our Lord Jesus Christ:
- Mindset – Jesus is Awesome – Start with the idea/faith that everything that Jesus says/does reflects His Divine Brilliance. What Jesus says and does must be totally awe-worthy, for He is God!
- Reading Scripture seeking Evidence for Jesus’ Awesomeness – Read the Gospels specifically looking for evidence of Jesus’ awesomeness. If you aren’t impressed, you don’t yet understand.
- Put Jesus’s Awesomeness in a 21st century context and personalize it – After understanding Jesus’ actions in the context of a 1st century Jew, try to understand how Jesus’s acts/thoughts might play out in the 21st century. Imagine what it might be like. And think of how you personally would react as a witness to the Lord’s words and deeds. You must make Christ’s works real in your life.
Step 1 – Start with the mindset that “Only Jesus is Awesome”
Many men have become lukewarm in their faith. They are Casual Catholics, casual about their faith, casual about their faith practices and casual about their morality. It is quite easy (Satan likes it that way) to slip into ‘Casualness’ in the modern Secular society that promotes the “evil twins of secularism”: pluralism (every culture/people/sect has their own truth) and relativism (no culture/people/sect has truth). You might notice that these concepts are self-canceling (i.e. if some things are true, then there must be truth; if nothing is true, then no one can have truth), but these arguments have been very effective weapons for an atheists to to argue against Truth.
Of course, Catholics believe/know that there is absolute Truth, because Jesus Christ is Truth (John 14:6) and the Catholic Church lovingly and perfectly protects and teaches that Truth for all generations through the Magisterium (CCC 77, 88).
Somewhere along the way, the real Jesus has not be taught. He’s perhaps not been properly introduced, taught in conceptual or abstract forms, taught without ardor or lost in a ‘heap of Catholicism’. Or perhaps Jesus has been “downgraded”; many modern people make fun of Christ or try to discount His Divinity (e.g. “Sure, Jesus was a great teacher, but hey, there are a lot of great teachers”).
The core reason why so many men are Casual Catholics is that they haven’t truly met Jesus Christ and discovered the Truth. If Jesus is truly the Son of God, one can not help but be impressed. If you are not impressed, you have not truly yet met Jesus.
When men are Casual Catholics, they slip farther and farther into Sin rather than ascending with Grace towards Holiness. And that’s the huge danger: unrepentant Sin leads to eternal death! (CCC 1472).
To snap out of Casualness, man can make an act of the Will: to open up one’s mind to the idea that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that everything that Jesus does and says must demonstrate His Awesomeness.
Step 2 – Read Scripture with the intent of discovering the Awesomeness of Jesus
The Church teaches that Scripture accurately presents Jesus Christ without error (CCC 101-108). To understand Christ’s Divine Brilliance during the Incarnation, we can read the Gospels using a hermeneutic (a fancy theological word: a method for reading/interpreting scripture).
Here’s a hermeneutic to use to observe Jesus’ Divine Brilliance : Only Jesus is Awesome. By ‘awesome’, what’s meant it the meaning from the traditional etymology of the word. Awesome traces its meaning to “Awe” from the Greek, akhos meaning “pain, grief”, “dread mixed with veneration”. “Awesome” means to be “profoundly reverential”.
Since Jesus is the Son of God, there should (and certainly is) evidence of God’s Divinity in almost every passage of the Gospel. What’s needed is to start with the idea (or more accurately, faith) that the ‘Awesomeness” of Jesus is there, it just needs to be understood.
To help understand scripture it is very important to read scripture with a true sense: history is full of heretical and confused individually driven interpretations; heretics continue to abound today, just turn on “Christian” television shows and you will quickly see evidence of the confusion. Build your faith life on the Rock, relying on the CatholicChurch, a Church with 2000+ years of continuous true interpretation, guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.
For a lay person, reading Scripture using a proven Catholic study bible is key: CatholicManNight recommends “Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament – with notes by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch”. One can also look to strong bible studies like Jeff Cavin’s “Great Adventure Bible Series”, Dr. Tim Grey’s series on “1 Corinthians” or Dr. Edward Sri’s various books (e.g. Dawn of the Messiah). All of these resources can be found on the “Books” tab on this website.
Step 3 – Put Jesus’s Awesomeness in the 21st century context
After understanding what is occurring in the context of the historical times of Jesus and understanding why what He is saying and doing is ‘Awesome”, our awe increases as we put Jesus’ actions in our modern context through analogy. Here are some questions men can ask to help put Jesus’ actions in today’s context:
- How might what Jesus is doing in the Gospel play out today?
- What would it be like to witness Jesus’ actions in today’s world? For example, Jesus awes the priests and teachers as a 12 year old child at the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-52). Imagine that today a 12-year old boy goes to St. Peter’s in Rome and completely awes a group of Cardinals. It would be headline news everywhere. It would be unbelievable. But this is exactly what Jesus Christ does!
- What would be my personal reaction if I witness such a thing today?
In future posts, there will be more examples of how the “Only Jesus is Awesome” approach works.
In the meantime, seek to draw closer to Jesus Christ by acknowledging His Awesomeness and asking for Him to send the Holy Spirit into your heart and mind. For as you grow in awe of Jesus Christ, you will want to know Him and give yourself more completely to Him.
May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you!
Myopia in the Modern World
To a disturbing degree, Modern Man has become blinded by science. In a few generations technological advances have dramatically changed how humans live. Today, Man in the developed world lives with sensory overload: media (movies, television, internet, video games, music) and ever-advancing technology (computers, smartphones, gadgets). Men have become fascinated with shiny things, myopic with short attention spans, idolizing the material.
This modern myopia has resulted in the loss of a sense of the Divine. One clear example of modern myopia is pervasive use of the word ‘awesome’. The mundane or trivial is routinely labeled as ‘awesome’. But when everything becomes ‘awesome’, nothing is ‘awesome’. The First Commandment declares that only God is to be worshiped and warns against worshiping false idols; becoming blinded by material things and using sacred words to describe the mundane is a form of idolatry. “Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God” (CCC 2113).
Seeing Clearly – The True Definition of Awesome
The word awe comes from the Greek, akhos meaning ‘pain, grief’ and ‘dread mixed with veneration’. The word awesome means ‘profoundly reverential’. Words related to awesome include: amaze (‘overwhelming wonder’ and ‘mental stupefaction’); astound (‘to stun’); astonish (from the Latin, tonare meaning ‘to thunder’ and ‘thunderstruck’); marvel (from the Latin, mirabilia, meaning (‘strange and wonderful things’); and worship (‘Adoration and honor given to God’ – CCC 2096, 2097).
20/20 Vision – The Awesomeness of Jesus
The Awesomeness of Jesus Christ is overwhelmingly demonstrated in the Gospels:
- The Gentiles are awed by Jesus – The wise men travel great distances from the East and when they saw Jesus, “they fell down and worshiped Him” (Matt 2:11). When Jesus drives the demons from the fearsome possessed men into a herd of pigs that perishes in the sea, “all the city came out…and begged Him to leave their neighborhood” (Matt 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-37). When Jesus heals the sick in Tyre and Sidon, “the throng wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel” (Matt 15:31).
- Jesus awes His enemies – Herod the Great was “troubled” by the birth of Jesus (Matt 2:3). Jesus commands Satan: “Be gone Satan!” and “the devil left Him.” (Matt 4:10-11). The mob that seeks to kill the adulterous woman, drop their stones and disperse in fear and shame at Jesus’ word (Luke 8:1-11). The Pharisees are “astonished” (Luke 11: 38; (Mark 7:1-5), were “amazed“(Matt 22:22) and “marvel” at Him (Mark 12:17). The Jewish leadership “feared” Jesus (Mark 11:18) because “all the multitude were astonished at His teaching.” The Sadducees “no longer dared to ask Him any question” (Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27). The Chief priest and scribes “feared Him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.” (Mark 11:18). Pilate was “afraid” (John 19:8) and “wondered greatly” (Matt 27:14) and his wife “suffered much over Him” (Matt 27:19). Jesus’ exclamation of “I AM” caused several hundred men (Roman troops and temple guards) “to draw back and fall to the ground”(John 18: 3-6). The Roman soldiers who witnessed Jesus’ death “were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matt 27:54).
- The Disciples are awed by Jesus – Joseph and Mary “were astonished” when they found the 12-year old Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:48-49). Simeon called Him God’s “salvation” (Luke 2:25-35). The prophetess Anna, saw the baby Jesus and gave thanks to God, calling Jesus “the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38). John the Baptist, who Jesus calls the greatest among men (cf. Matt 11:11) does not feel worthy to “carry the sandals” of Jesus (Matt 3: 11). The Disciples leave their professions and families and immediately follow Him (Mark 1:17; Luke 5:27). Nathaniel exclaims, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Peter kneels before Jesus, “afraid” (Luke 5:8-10). Jesus causes a miraculous catch of fish and Peter “was astonished, and all with him.” (Luke 5:9). Nicodemus “marvels” at His teaching (John 3:7). The sinful woman quietly crawls to Jesus, “weeping…[and] wet His feet with her tears” (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus calms the storm and the disciples were “afraid” and “filled with awe” (Matt 8:18, 23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 13:18-19). When the disciples hear Jesus’ teachings about sacrifice and heaven to the rich young man, they “were amazed at his words” and “exceedingly astonished” and “afraid” (Mark 10:24,32; Matt 19:25. When Jesus walks on the water during a raging storm, the disciples “were terrified” and “utterly astounded” and they “worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’” (Matt 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:15-21). After feeding the 5000, Peter tells Jesus that, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20). When Jesus is transfigured on the mountain, the disciples “fell on their faces, and were filled with awe” (Matt 17:6) and “were exceedingly afraid” (Mark 9:6; Luke 9:34). When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary see Jesus after the resurrection, they fall at His feet and worshiped Him and “were afraid”(Matt 28:1-10). When Jesus appears to the disciples, they were “startled and frightened” and “disbelieved in joy” and “wondered” (Luke 24:36-41). When the eleven disciples met Jesus in Galilee after the Resurrection, “they worshipped Him.” (Matt 28:16-17). Saul, a fanatical Pharisee and a key persecutor of Jesus’ disciples, is knocked to the ground and blinded by a light from heaven and is converted by Christ and eventually becomes Saint Paul (Acts 9:1-19).
- The People are Awed by Jesus – The Shepherds are “afraid” and then “glorified and praised God” after seeing the Christ Child (Luke 2:8-20). All who heard the twelve-year old Jesus in the Temple “were amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:47). The crowds respond to Jesus: “were astonished at His teachings, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matt 7:29); “were all amazed” and “astonished at His teaching, for his word was with authority” (Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:33-37); “amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.” (Mark 1: 23; Luke 5:26); “The Prophet who has come into the world” and seek “to take Him by force to make Him king” (Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; Mark 6:30-44; John 6:5-13); “all were astonished at the majesty of God…and marveling” (Luke 9:43; Matt 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32); marvel at Jesus, saying “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” (John 7:15); “Fear seized them all” and “they glorified God” (Luke 7:11); she“came in fear and trembling and fell down before him.” (Mark 5:33; Luke 8:47); “marveled, saying, ‘Never was anything like this seen in Israel.’” (Matt 9:33, Luke 11:14); “were astonished, and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?’” (Matt 13:54); “were immediately overcome with amazement” (Mark 5:42; Luke 8:56); “were afraid and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matt 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26); “were astonished beyond measure” (Mark 7:37); “were greatly amazed” (Mark 5:42).
The Awesomeness of Jesus
Definitions : “Awe” from the Greek, akhos meaning “pain, grief”, “dread mixed with veneration”; “Awesome” – “profoundly reverential”; “Amaze” – “overwhelming wonder”, “mental stupefaction”; “Astound” – “to stun”; “Astonish” from the Latin, tonare meaning “to thunder” – “thunderstruck”.
“Marvel” – from the Latin, mirabilia, meaning “strange and wonderful things.” “Worship” – “Adoration and honor given to God” (CCC 2096, 2097).
1) Gentiles are Awed by Jesus
- The wise men travel great distances from the East and when they saw Jesus, “they fell down and worshiped Him” (Matt 2:11;ZZ).
- When Jesus drives the demons from the fearsome possessed men into a herd of pigs that perishes in the sea, “all the city came out…and begged Him to leave their neighborhood.” (Matt 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-37).
- When Jesus heals the sick in Tyre and Sidon, “the throng wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking , and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Matt 15:31).
2) His Enemies are Awed by Jesus
- Herod the Great was “troubled” by the birth of Jesus (Matt 2:3) and kills “all the male children in Bethlehem and all in that region who were tow years old or under” (Matt 2:16).
- Jesus commands Satan: “Be gone Satan!” and “the devil left Him.” (Matt 4:10-11).
- The mob that seeks to kill the adulterous woman, drop their stones and disperse in fear and shame when Jesus tells them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Luke 8:1-11).
- A Pharisee is astonished when Jesus does not follow the rituals for hand cleaning before eating (Luke 11: 38; (Mark 7:1-5).
- The Jewish leadership “feared” Jesus (Mark 11:18) because “all the multitude were astonished at His teaching.” They repeatedly try to kill Jesus before arresting Him in Gethsemane.
- When Jesus responds to the Pharisees who are trying to trick Him regarding paying taxes to Caesar, “they were amazed at him” and “marveled” (Matt 22:22, Mark 12:17).
- When the Sadducees try to trick Jesus in public about marriage in heaven, He corrects them about the reality of heaven, and then “they no longer dared to ask Him any question” (Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27).
- When Jesus cleanses the temple (Matt 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48; John 2:13-16), driving out the merchants, the chief priests and scribes plotted to kill Him, for “they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.” (Mark 11:18).
- While sentencing Jesus, Pilate was “afraid” (John 19:8) and “wondered greatly” (Matt 27:14) and Pilate’s wife warns him to “Have nothing to do with this righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream.” (Matt 27:19), causing Pilate to try to wash his hands of the sin of crucifying Jesus (Matt 27:14-26).
- While attempting to take Jesus as prisoner in Gethsemane, Jesus’ exclamation of “I AM” caused several hundred men (Roman troops and temple guards) “to draw back and fall to the ground”(John 18: 3-6).
- The soldiers who crown Jesus with thorns, even as the mock, kneel before Him (Matt 27:29).
- The Roman soldiers who witnessed Jesus’ death “were filled with awe, and said “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matt 27:54) and “all the multitudes…returned home beating their breasts.” (Luke 23:45-48).
3) The Disciples are Awed by Jesus
- When Joseph and Mary “were astonished” when they found the 12-year old Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:48-49).
- The old and righteous man Simeon saw the baby Jesus, called Him God’s “salvation” and rejoiced that he could die in peace (Luke 2:25-35).
- The old prophetess Anna, saw the baby Jesus and gave thanks to God, calling Jesus “the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38).
- John the Baptist, who Jesus calls the greatest among men (cf. Matt 11:11) does not feel worthy to “carry the sandals” of Jesus (Matt 3: 11) or to baptize Jesus (Matt 3:14).
- When Jesus calls to the disciples to follow Him, they leave their professions and families and immediately follow Him (Mark 1:17; Luke 5:27).
- The skeptical Nathaniel exclaims, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” after Jesus tells him that He sees him without being present (John 1:43-51)
- Peter kneels before Jesus, afraid, saying “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Jesus tells Peter, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:8-10).
- After Jesus taught a crowd from a boat on the Galilee, Jesus causes a miraculous catch of fish and Peter “was astonished, and all with him.” (Luke 5:9).
- Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, comes to Jesus at night to learn and “marvels” at His teaching (John 3:7).
- The sinful woman quietly crawls to Jesus, “weeping…[and] wet His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Jesus forgives her sins (Luke 7:36-50).
- When Jesus calms the storm that is threatening to capsize the boat, the disciples were “afraid” and “filled with awe” and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him? (Matt 8:18, 23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 13:18-19).
- When the disciples hear Jesus’ teachings about sacrifice and heaven to the rich young man, they “were amazed at his words” and “exceedingly astonished” and “afraid” (Mark 10:24,32; Matt 19:25).
- When Jesus prophesizes His Passion and Resurrection, the disciples “did not understand” and were “afraid to ask” Jesus about the prophesy (Mark 9:32).
- When Jesus walks on the water during a raging storm, the disciples “were terrified” and “utterly astounded” and they “worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’” (Matt 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:15-21).
- After feeding the 5000, Peter tells Jesus that “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20).
- When Jesus is transfigured on the mountain, the disciples “fell on their faces, and were filled with awe” (Matt 17:6) and “were exceedingly afraid” (Mark 9:6; Luke 9:34).
- The mother of James and John kneels before Jesus (Matt 20:20).
- When Jesus curses the fig tree and it withers, the disciples “marveled” (Matt 21:20).
- Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anoints Jesus’ head and feet with expensive oil, to prepare Him for burial (Matt 26:6-13; John 12:1-8).
- When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary see Jesus after the resurrection, they fall at His feet and worshiped Him and “were afraid”(Matt 28:1-10).
- When Jesus appears to the disciples, they were “startled and frightened” and “disbelieved in joy” and “wondered” (Luke 24:36-41).
- The angel of the Lord causes the holy women to flee “from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come over them…for they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8).
- When the eleven disciples met Jesus in Galilee after the Resurrection, “they worshipped Him.” (Matt 28:16-17).
- Saul, a fanatical Pharisee and a key persecutor of Jesus’ disciples, is knocked to the ground and blinded by a light from heaven and is converted by Christ and eventually becomes Saint Paul (Acts 9:1-19).
4) The People are Awed by Jesus
- The Shepherds are “afraid” at the birth of Jesus and then “glorified and praised God” after seeing the Christ Child (Luke 2:8-20).
- When Jesus is twelve years old, He sits among the teachers at the temple and “all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:47).
- When Jesus completes the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), “the crowds were astonished at his teachings, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matt 7:29).
- When Jesus drives out the unclean spirit in Capernaum (Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:33-37), the people “were all amazed” and “astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority”, and Jesus’ fame spread throughout Galilee.
- A leper kneels before Jesus and begs Him for healing (Mark 1:40).
- When Jesus heals the paralyzed man on the Sabbath, the crowd is astounded: “amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.” (Mark 1: 23; Luke 5:26).
- The skeptical Samaritan woman at the Well meets Jesus and is awed by Him; she brings “many Samaritans” to Jesus who “believed in Him.” (John 4:39).
- After feeding the 5000, the people call Jesus, “The Prophet who has come into the world” and seek “to take Him by force to make Him king” (Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; Mark 6:30-44; John 6:5-13).
- When Jesus heals the possessed boy, “all were astonished at the majesty of God…and marveling.” (Luke 9:43; Matt 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32).
- The Jews in the temple marvel at Jesus, saying “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” (John 7:15).
- When Jesus raised the widow’s son at Nain, the crowds were astonished: “Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’” (Luke 7:11).
- When the woman who bled for 12 years touches the garment of Christ and is healed, He asks “Who touched me?” The woman “came in fear and trembling and fell down before him.” (Mark 5:33; Luke 8:47).
- When Jesus casts out the dumb demoniac and restores him, “the crowds marveled, saying, ‘Never was anything like this seen in Israel.’” (Matt 9:33, Luke 11:14).
- When Jesus teaches the crowds in the synagogue in Galilee, the people “were astonished, and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?’” (Matt 13:54).
- When Jesus raises the dead daughter of Jairus, the crowds “were immediately overcome with amazement” (Mark 5:42; Luke 8:56).
- When Jesus heals the paralytic, the crowds “were afraid and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matt 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26).
- After Jesus gives the man born blind his sight, the man “worships” Jesus (John 9:38).
- The man with the epileptic son comes from the crowd and kneels before Jesus (Matt 17:14).
- When Jesus heals the deaf mute, the people “were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well; he even make the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’” (Mark 7:37).
- When Jesus heals the blind and dumb demoniac, all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” (Matt 12:23).
- When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, many Jews believe in Him and tell the Pharisees, despite the threat of being put out of the temple (Luke 11:46).
- When the crowd sees Jesus coming after the Transfiguration, they “were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him” (Mark 5:42).
- As Jesus walks with the crowds towards His Passion in Jerusalem, they were “amazed” and “afraid” (Mark 10:32).
- The repentant criminal being crucified next to Jesus “fears God” and asks Jesus “to remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:39-43).
- The Roman Centurion “is not worthy” for Jesus to enter his house to heal his slave, and Jesus marvels at the Centurion’s faith before healing the slave from afar (Luke 2:6-10).
Some have asked about the various topics that have been developed on CatholicManNight to learn about Jesus and to draw closer to Him.
Here is a complete listing of all the Meeting Jesus topics that have been developed to date; take some time to prayerfully browse the list and see where the Holy Spirit moves you!
Meeting Jesus | Catholic Man Night
Virtues and Prudence
“Virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of Intellect and Will that govern our actions, order our passions and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good” (CCC 1804). The four “cardinal virtues” are prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance (CCC 1805). Prudence is the “charioteer of the virtues” for it guides the other virtues to make moral decisions to do the good (CCC 1806), consistent with God’s Will (CCC 1787). St. Thomas Aquinas sums up Prudence as “right reason in action”: the ultimate “right” must be aimed at the Truth of God; well-formed “reason” requires Man’s Intellect to have deep knowledge of the Word (i.e. the Logos, also meaning “reason”) who is Jesus Christ; for fallen Man’s Will to take the correct “action” requires the constant reliance on Grace of the Sacraments and the acceptance of the Holy Spirit.
The Terminal Imprudence of Man (more…)
The Descent of the Prodigal Son
“Prodigal” comes from the Latin word, prodigus, meaning “wasteful.” Adam, immature and ungrateful, greedily sought a greater inheritance from the Father, eating of the fruit of the “knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 3). Fallen, afraid and ashamed, Adam wasted his inheritance of the peace and joy in the Garden for a lie by Satan. Disinherited by the Original Sin of Adam, Man became a race of prodigals, wandering alone in the world, alienated from God and at war with each other, tormented by Satan.
The Plague of Post-Modern Prodigals
Despite God the Father’s consistent call across the ages, legions of Prodigal Sons wander in post-modern despair. Post-Modern Man, full of self-conceit and rebellion, rejects the Father and fatherhood. Men, in growing numbers, prefer the effeminate comfort of perpetual adolescence, many ironically living in their father’s basements wasting their lives in trivial pursuits. Today’s Prodigals, many sired out of wedlock and abandoned by their “fathers”, reject or postpone the call to marriage, preferring promiscuity under the cover of contraception, abortion, pornography and self-indulgence. But the wastrel life has consequences: depression, suicide, addictions of all sorts and male loneliness are at epidemic levels. Post-modern Man is a spiritual bastard, intoxicated in Sin and utopian dreams, blindly living in a perpetually wasted state. Post-modern men are pathetic Prodigals.
The Call of the Son of God to the Prodigals
Jesus Christ is irrefutably identified as the only begotten Son of God. Jesus:
- Is embraced as the Father’s Son – “The coming of God’s Son to earth is an event of such immensity that God wills to prepare for it over centuries” (CCC 522) to battle the Devil (CCC 394) and save Man. God the Father sends the Son (CCC 422; Gal 4:4-5). In His Own Voice, the Father calls Jesus His Son at the Baptism (Matt 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22) and the Transfiguration (Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35) allowing numerous witnesses to hear. The Father is “well-pleased” with the Son (Matt 3:15) and instructs Man to “listen to Him” (Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35).
- Claims to be the Son of God – Even at the age of 12, Jesus goes to His Father’s house and says, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). Jesus clearly proclaims that He is the Son (Matt 11:27; Mark 14:61-62; John 5:25, 10:36) who has been sent from Heaven (John 3:31). Jesus has a personal intimacy with the Father, calling Him “Abba”, meaning daddy or papa (Mark 14:36), speaking directly to the Father (John 12:49). He speaks of God as “My” and not “our”, claiming a special personal relationship (Matt 6:9; John 20:17) and hidden, exclusive knowledge (Matt 11:25-27; Luke 10:21-22). Jesus confesses before His enemies that He is the Son of God (Mark 16:61-62). After the Resurrection, Jesus says He is ascending to the Father at the Ascension (John 20:17).
- Is proclaimed to be the Son of God – At the Annunciation, Gabriel proclaims to Mary that Jesus is the Son of God through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:32-35). Many proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God: the Devil (Matt 4:1-11); Nathaniel (John 1:49); Peter (Matt 16:15-16); John (John 20:31); Paul (Rom 1:3; CCC 242); the Centurion who crucified Him (Matt 27:54) and even demons (Luke 4:41). The Church has always proclaimed that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (CCC 1; 441-445), a Divine Person (CCC 262).
Jesus Christ demonstrates perfection as the Son of the Father. Jesus:
- Demonstrates Divine Sonship in miracles – Jesus radiates Divine Power (Luke 6:19; 8:44), has dominion over nature (Matt 8:26, 17:2, 27:51; Mark 5:1-11, 6:48), heals all kinds of illnesses (Matt 9:27-31; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 9:37-42), raises the dead (Luke 8:40-56; John 11:44). He transfigures Himself (Matt 17:2),is resurrected (Mark 16:6) with supernatural powers (Luke 24:16; John 20:26) including the ability to ascend to Heaven (Mark 16:19).
- Is the Obedient Son – In the Incarnation, Jesus accepts the Father’s mission of Redeemer (Gal 4:4-5). All Christ does is for the Father, embracing the Father’s commands (John 14:31) and doing the Father’s will (John 6:38, 8:29), even unto death (Phil 2:8) out of love for Man (Eph 5:2). Even dying on the Cross, Jesus remains obedient to the Father (Luke 23:34, 46).
- Emphasizes the importance of the father-son relationship – God reveals His plan for the family, by the Incarnation of His own Son to Mother Mary and Father Joseph. Referred to as the Son of God in the NT 147 times, Jesus reinforces the importance of the father-son relationship in parables: Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), Wicked Tenants (Mark 12:1-11) Two Sons (Matt 21:28-32).
Jesus Christ calls all Men to become adopted sons of God. Jesus:
- Is given to Man out of love by the Father – The only begotten Son is given to Man (John 3:16) in a sign of sacrificial Love (Rom 5:8; 1 John 3:16; CCC 219) in which the Father allows the Son to taste death (Heb 2:9; CCC 624). The Father instructs Man to “listen to Him” (Matt 17:5), fulfilling a promise to send a Messiah to teach Man (Deut 18:15).
- Must be believed to be the Son of God – Only Jesus is the mediator with the Father (CCC 480) who, in Glorified Flesh, sits at the right hand of the Father (CCC 663). Only Jesus has seen the Father (John 1:18) and only Jesus can reveal the Father (CCC 151): Jesus Christ is the “one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In Him, He has said everything; there will be no other word than this one” (CCC 65; Heb 1:1-2); only Jesus is the divinely reliable Truth (John 14:6). Christians must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 8:37; 1 John 2:23) and invite Jesus into one’s life by invoking His Sacred Name (John 16:23; Phil 2:10; Rom 10:13; Acts 2:21, 3:16). Rejecting the Son of God leads to spiritual darkness, death and disinheritance (CCC 679). Without Jesus, all men remain Prodigals.
- Gives Man the ability to be adopted Sons of God – Jesus teaches the stunning Truth that Man, rather than remaining perpetual Prodigals, can become adopted Sons of the God of the Most High through Baptism (Gal 4:5; CCC 2798) and call God “Abba” (Rom 8:15, 29). For those who embrace the Cross, Jesus Christ gives Himself personally, living in each (Gal 2:20; CCC 521) and promises the inheritance of Heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4). In Christ, Prodigals can finally return to God’s home.
- Sends Man to Evangelize the whole world in His Name – Like the Father sent the Son, the Son sends Man to evangelize the world (John 20:21-23) by emphasizing the paramount nature of Fatherhood and Sonship (Matt 28:19-20). Man must evangelize in the Name of Jesus for Jesus to stand for Man in Heaven (Matt 10:32).
- Endows the Church with the Sacraments – As the Son of God, Jesus has the unique ability to forgive Sins (CCC 1441; Mark 2:5,10; Luke 7:48) that He gives to the Church (John 20:23). In the age of the Holy Spirit, Christ endows the Church with the Sacraments (CCC 1076).
The Descent into Dirt
The Church teaches that Satan was full of Pride and rebelled against God, causing God to cast Satan and his angels out of Heaven and into Hell (CCC 391-92). Still full of rebellious Pride, Satan slithered into Eden and seduced Eve (and Adam) to join in rebellion against God (Gen 3:5). God’s response to the Sin of Pride was definitive: Satan was cursed and deemed the enemy of Man; Adam and Eve were to live with pain, toil and death. Rather than immortality, Man was to “return to dust” (Gen 3:19); turning to dust is the ultimate lesson in humility (from the Latin, humus, meaning, “of the soil”). Pride remains the first of the Capital Sins/Vices (CCC 1866) leading Man to envy and resent God (CCC 2094, 2540).
Modern Man’s Empty Chest-thumping
Modern culture is infected with the insanity of the “Enlightenment”: the prideful rejection of God and the embrace of radical individualism/selfishness. The prideful rejection of God infects Man with all kinds of schemes to attempt to find happiness: the false political “progressivism” that promises an earthly Utopia (literally, “no place”), insatiable capitalism, the reliance on technology and science to solve all the ills of society, the rejection of sexual morality (e.g. rejection of marriage, contraception, abortion, the acceptance of homosexuality/same sex “marriage”, transgenderism, etc.) and the totalitarian use of government to enforce pluralism/relativism to the point where nothing is sacred. Man’s pride threatens the very peace of the world (CCC 2317).
Like gorillas in the wild, Modern Man thumps on empty chests in prideful display that cries out “Look at me!”: conspicuous consumption (clothing, cars, McMansions), body adornment (tattoos, strange hair and cosmetics), exhibitionism (Facebook, Twitter), the scandalous antics and self-promotion of politicians, celebrities, “comedians” and athletes. In the modern mind, Humility is not a virtue.
The Humility of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ demonstrates the perfection and power of humility in the Incarnation.
Descends to become the Son of Man – As the Divine Son of God from the beginning (John 1:1), Jesus demonstrates the ultimate humility by becoming Man, emptying Himself (Phil 2:7), taking the form of a slave (Phil 2:6-7) and willingly accepting the constraints of human learning (CCC 472). As the “Perfect Man”, Christ’s whole life is the model for Man to follow in holiness (CCC 520).
Chooses to be Incarnate to humble parents – Rather than the pride of Eve (Gen 3), Virgin Mary becomes the “New Eve” (CCC 411) in the humility of “the handmaiden of the Lord” (Luke 1:38). God chooses Joseph, a carpenter, who humbly accepts and defends the pregnant Mary (Matt 1:18-25), accepts celibacy in marriage (CCC 499) and raises Jesus as his own son.
Embraces humble circumstances – Jesus is born in a humble manger (Luke 2:1-7), has no earthly pedigree (money, political, scholarly credentials), lives in poverty (Luke 9:58) and associates with the lowliest of sinners (Matt 9:10-13) and outcasts (Matt 8:2-4).
Submits to the Baptism – Despite being without Sin (CCC 536), Jesus humbly accepts Baptism in solidarity with Man (Matt 3:13-17); each Christian is called “to enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance” (CCC 537).
Allows Satan to attempt temptation – With the humility of perfect love and in solidarity with Man, Jesus allows Satan to tempt Him, refraining from destroying Satan: in the desert (Luke 4:1-12) and perhaps in Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-46; CCC 612).
Rejects earthly accolades – The Jews expected the Messiah to be a royal king to eradicate Roman oppression. Instead, Jesus refuses earthly kingship (John 6:15) and human glory (John 5:41).
Embraces humility in the Passion – Jesus enters Jerusalem on a lowly donkey (Matt 21:1-10). He washes the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). He bows to the Father’s Will in Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-46) and willingly (CCC 272) allows the Jews and Romans to insult (mocking an spitting), torture and kill Him by scandalous Crucifixion (Matt 26-27) while asking the Father to forgive His persecutors from the Cross (Luke 23:34).
Jesus Christ explicitly directs Man to embrace humility and to reject pride.
Condemns the sin of pride – Jesus opposes the proud (Jas 4:6) including the Pharisees (Matt 9:10-13), Pilate (John 19:10-11), Herod (Luke 23:9), and admonishes the proud ambitions of the Apostles (Matt 20:20-28, Luke 22:24-27, Mark 9:35).
Directs Man to be humble – Humility is at the core of the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12); “poor in spirit”, “the meek” and “the merciful.” He teaches that “all who exalt themselves will be humbled, all who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matt 23:12), to take the lowest seat at the table (Luke 14:7-11) and to be a servant to all (Luke 22:26), even a slave (Mark 10:42-45). Jesus instructs the leaders of the Church and all Christians to be humble (Matt 18:1-4) and in self-denial to take up the Cross (Matt 16:24-26; Rom 8:17).
Demonstrates that humble dependence on God can defeat temptation – Even though weakened by a 40-day fast, Jesus rejects Satan’s temptations by calling on the Father (Luke 4:1-12). He again defeats Satan’s temptation in Gethsemane (Luke 22:53; CCC 612).
Clarifies that humility is mandatory for Salvation – Jesus teaches that a humble repentant heart is necessary for justification (Luke 18:9-14; CCC 1446; see Reconciliation: CCC 1442-1498) that the humility of a child is a pre-requisite for Heaven (Matt 18:4).
Promises the fruits of humility – Jesus teaches that the humble will inherit the earth (Matt 5:5; CCC 1716), will enjoy eternal salvation (Matt 18:1-3) and enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:6; CCC 1746, 2546).
Teaches Man to pray with humility – Jesus teaches Man to pray the humble “Our Father” (Matt 6:9-13), each section requiring humility: submitting to God as “Father”, “hallowing” His name, accepting God’s will, begging for “daily bread” and forgiveness (a sign of humility – CCC 2631) and protection from temptation and the Evil One. Man must embrace humility to draw closer to the Trinity in prayer (CCC 2713, CCC 2728).
Endows the Church with humility – The Apostles embrace humility: Peter: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5); James: “Humble yourself before the Lord and He will exalt you” (James 4:10); St. Paul “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). All the martyrs and saints have embraced humility.