“The Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14). “She wrapped him in [...]
Mater semper certa est. Contrary to the father, the mother is always certain. On account of technological progress, this old Roman adage has lost some of its obviousness. Particularly with the advent of surrogacy, one must now distinguish different aspects of motherhood that were once necessarily united. To answer the seemingly simple question, “Who is my mother?”, today some may find themselves in the situation of having to name up to four or five different women. The question about one’s origin becomes complicated, to the point of becoming almost absurd and unanswerable. History has always known wayward fathers. Until recently, the mother, at least, has been a haven of security, a figure of unconditional acceptance, an assurance of unconditional love within the limits of all things human. What effect will it have on human beings if they become unable to say with any significant clarity who their mother is? Might we approach a society in which the very word “mother” starts losing its meaning?
The present reflection seeks to approach anew the horizon opened by Pope John Paul II’s perspective on the body as “sacrament.” What follows is an attempt to explicate the claim that the essential truth of the body revealed in its givenness is love. That is, the body, in the pope’s evocative words, is “a sign that efficaciously transmits in the visible world the invisible mystery hidden in God from eternity.” The goal is to show just how deeply the body is implicated in the mystery of human identity, action, and the eternal love offered to man by the mystery of God’s assuming of the human nature in the Son.
Granados’ focus upon bodily existence as allowing us to enter “the space of the truth” moves from the body as providing both physical and cognitive space to consideration of Jesus’ flesh as opening the ultimate Temple of God to humans. Clearly the Logos took a body in order to become the true Temple and draw all men inside himself as their true home. We enter Christ through an extension of his glorified body to live in the divinity that is inseparable from Him. His body has provided a new space for us to objectively participate in God through a true union of wills. Truth has led us into authentic union and higher life through love. The body is not an obstacle to the Spirit, but the very means of entering the Spirit in truth and not imagination.
The second thesis of the Veritas Amoris Project seeks to explore how Christ brings with him the fulfilled unity of truth and love. If we believe that “only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light” (Gaudium et Spes 22), this applies as well to the truth of love as a key to understanding human life. What the truth of love is all about, takes on light only if we look at Christ. And, at the same time, the mystery of Christ can best be perceived if we start from the truth of love as the key to understanding man, the world and God. To explore this topic, I will first link Christ to the unity of truth and love (1). I will look then for the appropriate vantage point to perceive this unity in his person and work (2). Finally, I will focus on the Gospel of John to show the different ways in which Christ and the truth of love go together, since John has placed special emphasis on this connection (3).
What is our body? Who is our body? In the light of the John Paul II’s Catecheses on human love, one comes to see that the body is the epiphany of our person: made in the image of God, redeemed by Christ and called to find its full meaning in the total gift of self. And, as God never ceases to pour His love unto us, we thus receive, in Christ, a new measure of human love, that we were eternally destined to receive: to be capable of loving one another with the very same love of our Redeemer.
The biological and psychological sciences attest to the existence of difference between male and female. What is needed now is not continually to repeat this as if it were an obvious truism, but a philosophical and theological reflection in order to develop the necessary conceptual tools for demonstrating its anthropological meaning.