Appeared in Fall 1994, Vol. XX, No. 3
The Gospel announces in its inimitable style of controlled wonder that Christ raised people from the dead when the occasion called for it. Paul suggests that Christ did even more than raise up people who had died. He implies that it was Christ who decided upon our creation, upon our coming to life in the first place.
Ashen corpses sprang to life, glazed eyes opened and blinked, when Christ called out: “Talitha kumi”; or, “Young man, I say to you, arise”; or “Lazarus, come forth.” Paul excites our wonder equally by his fleeting revelation that God brought life to our bodies in the first place through Christ Jesus,‘ere time began.
We know indeed that the human nature of Christ did not exist outside of its causes before the happy event of the incarnation; before that historic moment celebrated by the entrance song of the second Sunday after Christmas: “When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run half of her swift course, your all-powerful word, o Lord, leaped down from heaven.” Yet we also know that the Church recognizes that Christ worked even before His birth into the confines of time. The prime example of this is Mary’s Immaculate Conception: before Christ was conceived, He already sanctified His Mother.
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