Monday, April 30, 2012

Why God is a "He"

Is God literally a male? Jesus took on a human male body, but outside of that, God has no physical body. God revealed Himself to be male to the ancient Jews, Jesus was born male, and Jesus referred to the Father in male terms. It makes sense to me because the Church is considered female--the bride of Christ.

Where do we see this "bride of Christ" thing in the Bible? Ephesians 5: 25-32 is an example of that theme. And Christ refers to himself as the bridegroom in Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19, Luke 5:24.

All of this is enough for me to obey sacred tradition and what I believe to be God's plan, and continue referring to him as male.

However, in reading Handbookof Catholic Apologetics, by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, I came across an additional argument. It had to do with the fact that nature--meaning the whole physical universe--was created by God, not birthed by Him. "As a man comes into a woman from without to make her pregnant, so God creates the universe from without rather than from birthing it from within and impregnates our souls with grace or supernatural life from without." (Kreeft & Tacelli p.104)

I find that beautiful.

Risking getting into a whole other territory, I'll just mention that this makes it clear why Jesus chose men to be his Apostles and why we still today hold that He intended a male priesthood. A priest stands for Christ at the altar--he performs "In Persona Christi,"(in the person of Christ). A priest is meant to be Jesus' representative--His regent. A regent, as you know, is a person or persons who rule while the real ruler is away. Jesus is the one true priest, but he appointed regents (the Apostles).

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