John takes the true measurement of Christ from Christ Himself, not from any fictitious priorcategory:
1- Transcendent “To Be [Esse]“: Before Abraham came to be, I am (Jn. 8, 58). As Creator, Christ transcends all created being
2- Immanent Man in time and space: “But Jesus turned round, and seeing them following him, said to them, ‘What is it you seek?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi (which interpreted means Master), where dwellest thou?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.(Jn. 1, 38-39).
John presents the two radical dimensions of the Person of Jesus Christ: God and Man – totally God, and totally man [not 1/2 man and 1/ 2 God)]. The mistaken presupposition here would be that God before becoming man was pure spirit, and therefore ceased to be fully Himself when He became man. But as we shall see, we are not to form our categories of reality and then fit the revelation of God into them. Rather, if Creation and Redemption are revealed to us, then we must accept God’s revelation of Himself such as He does so, and not impose our abstract categories and demand that He fit into them.
[Blogger: I propose that the failure to understand Pope Francis today in Amoris Laetitia is due to the Gnostic mind in a large portion of the Church that identifies God and Truth as spirit, and as such must be presented in clear and distinct doctrinal formulation. Ambiguity in thought is identified with a contamination of matter, and therefore untruth. The battle lines that have formed around “Amoris Laetitia” are the conceptual clarities of divorce-remarriage, mortal sin, and the proscription of receiving Communion in mortal sin – and the ontological formation of consciousness (as conscience) and growth into an experience of Christ in the day-to-day materiality of ordinary life. That is, matter enters into the very meaning of man, and therefore, into the very meaning of God. This spells ambiguity for the gnostic mind, and it is about this that the lines are being drawn]
“Of all the apostles, who stresses most the corporal reality of the Resurrected Christ? He who most stressed the divinity of Jesus, John. He who proclaimed Christ as the Logos, the eternal Son, also traced the living features of his resurrected body. There were reasons for this. By the time John’s Gospel was written, Christianity’s message had spread so far that the moment had come for a clarification of the Christian essence. In addition, John had certain polemic reasons for his clear-cut statement: his writings had to face a powerful enemy: the pagan and half-Christian spiritualism of the Gnostics, who were convinced that God was spirit. However their conviction was so narrow and distorted, that they concluded that he was therefore anti-corporal, and that in his eyes all matter was impure. Consequently, they could not accept the Incarnation; insisting instead that a divine being, the eternal Logos, had descended from heaven and made his dwelling in the man Jesus. Through his mouth we are taught the truth and shown the way from the fleshly to the spiritual. When the man Jesus died, the logos, had descended from heaven and made is dwelling in the man Jesus. When the man Jesus died, the Logos left him and returned to heaven. To this St. John says: God became man and remains man in all eternity.
“To the question: What have we to do with the spiritualism of Gnostics? – the answer is: A great deal! Modernity is often completely confused by ‘spiritualism.’ (We say) how it is constantly trying to explain away the Resurrection as deception; Jesus’ divinity as mere religious experience. the figure of the resurrected Christ as the product of communal piety, in order to separate ‘the real’ Jesus from the Christ of faith. Whether expressed historically or psychologically, as it is today, or mythologically, as it was at the time of the Gnostics, the argument remains the same. In reply, John erected two monumental landmarks. The first in the sentence ‘And the Word was made flesh…’ (Jn. 1, 14). Not ‘entered into’ a human being, but became that being, so that he was simultaneously human and divine;his deed God’s deed; his fate God’s fate, resulting in an indivisible unity of existence, responsibility and dignity. Not merely ‘And the Word as made man’ – but, that there be no possible mistake ‘…was made flesh’ – the clarity is almost unbearable.
“The second landmark is in John’s proclamation: ‘This is now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples, after he had risen from the dead’ ((21, 14), Not merely in the memory of his followers; not merely made manifest through the power of his teaching and his works, but in the divine and human, spiritual and corporal reality transformed, transfigured. God’s Son did not discard his humanity, but took it with him into the eternal glory revealed in the Apocalypse and in the dying Stephen’s vision, and referred to by St. Paul when he speaks of the risen Christ sitting on the right hand of God (Eph. 1, 20; Rom. 8, 34).
“We do well to pause and consider what is being claimed, for it is truly unheard of; and if something in is estranged ro revolts, it should speak up, for it has the right to do so.
“Who is God? The Supreme Spirit, and so pure, that the angels by contrast are ‘flesh’! He is the Endless, Omnipotent, Eternal, All-inclusive One in the simplicity of his pure reality. The Unchanging One, living in himself, sufficient unto himself. What possible use could he have for a human body in heaven? The Incarnation is already incomprehensible enough; it we accept it as an act of unfathomable love, this life and death , isn’t that sufficient? Why must we also believe that this piece of creation is assimilated into the eternity of God’s existence? What for? A bit of earthliness lost and caught up into the tremendousness of eternity? Why doesn’t the Logos shake the dust from him and return to the pure clarity of his free divinity?… Revelation defines such ideas as philosophy or worldly religion, to which Christian thought is by nature and definition diametrically opposed. But then what manner of God is this, with whom Resurrection, Ascension and throning on this right hand are possible? Precisely the kind of God who makes such things possible.! He is the God of the Resurrection, and we must learn that it is not the Resurrection that is irreconcilable to him, but part of our thinking that is irreconcilable to the Resurrection, for it is false.
[And here is the point:] “If we take Christ’s figure as our point of departure trying to understand from there, we find ourselves faced with the choice between a completely new conception of God and our relation to him, and utter rejection of everything that surpasses the limitations of a ‘great man’… We must completely reform our idea of humanity, if it is to fit the mold Christ has indicated. We can no longer say: man is as the world supposes him to be; therefore it is impossible that he throne at God’s right, but: since Revelation has revealed that the son of Man does throne at God’s right, man must be other than the world supposes him. We must learn that God is not only ‘supreme Being,’ but supremely divine and human Being; we must realize that man is not only human, but that the tip of his essence reaches into the unknown, and receives it fulfillment in his Resurrection.” [Romano Guardini, “The Lord” Henry Regnery (1954) 411-413).
Blogger: See how this is a retrieval and clarification of the meaning of Creation from nothing. As Creator, God is not a being of His creation. He is not a being at all, not even the Supreme Being at the top of the ontological chain. He is not part of the chain at all. He is the unique Cause of the Chain which has come from nothing, each part receiving is from Him. He is the pure Act of Existence. He is pure ising. Therefore, if He enters into the chain of being, He enters as a being without ceasing to be ising. The Church at Chalcedon (451) has called the “ising” of Christ “Person.” The humanity of Christ is the material entity that receives all its “ising” from the “ising” “I.” And Christ is the prototype of every man and meaning thereof.