“Who is Jesus, and why is He the light of nations?”
In this episode, we’re going to examine the first sentence of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. The episode goal is to BRIEFLY introduce Jesus, offer an opinion why the Father calls the Son the light of nations, and to talk about evangelization.
Lumen Gentium Text
This episode uses the text below from Vatican II document Lumen Gentium as a basis for the content:
“Christ is the light of nations.” §01 ¶01
Who is Jesus
The goal of this part is to help in developing an understanding of what is meant by a Christian mystery. It’s not that God wants to play a game with us in trying to understand Him it’s trust that as with all relationships, we have to invest ourselves in working to understand the mystery of the other.
- Matthew 16:13-20
- Why is Caesarea Philippi important to the revelation to who Jesus is?
- Caesarea Philippi is 20 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. Far enough away from the crowds for the last retreat with the 12 before Good Friday.
- Land was used for pagan worship since the northern tribes of Israel where exiled by the Assyrians. Followers of Greek mythology called this region Panias and built temples to worship the Greek god Pan. The cravings they made in what is called the Rock of the Gods are visible today, as are the ruins of the temples. Pan’s mythology includes his strong lustful appetite. He is known for seeking instant gratification and living in the moment. Because of this, areas dedicated to him — such as Caesarea Philippi — were often places of sexual debauchery.
- Philip, son of Herod the Great constructed a temple in honor of Caesar Tiberias, which is where the name Caesarea comes from. Philip also added his name to the region to bring honor to himself and to differentiate it from the Mediterranean seaport also called Caesarea.
- Caesarea Philippi is the main headwater of the Jordan river, which brings life to Israel. The temples were built near the running water comes out from the ground.
- This area was where the tribe of Dan settled. Though the tribe of Dan was known for its infidelity to God, Jacob (Dan’s father) prophesied in Genesis 49:16-18 that Dan shall achieve justice for his kindred.
- Putting all these facts together, Jesus choose Caesarea Philippi as the place to reveal His true identity and to establish His authority in the Kingdom of God on Earth in contrast to what the world offers.
- “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” — “But who do you say that I am?”
- Daniel 7:9-10
- “Pan died because Christ was born.” ~ GK Chesterton in The Everlasting Man
Personal Relationship With Jesus
- NOT a Protestant thing
- Matthew 7:21-23 – “Then [Jesus] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.”
- The average number of U.S. Catholics attending Mass every week is actually 26%, not the 30% mentioned in the podcast.
- “The Mass is the source and summit of our faith.” ~ Lumen Gentium 11
“Filling Our Father’s House” by Shaun McAfee
- Start with Prayer.
- Willingness to cede control of our lives to God.
- Know Jesus through His Church.
- Look for Jesus in others.
- Get to know the saints.
- Seek spiritual direction.
Shaun’s recommendation on Bible study resources.
- Scott Hahn’s St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
- The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures by Edward Sri
- The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Timeline by Jeff Cavins
- Walking With God: A Journey through the Bible by Jeff Cavins
- You Can Understand The Bible: A Practical And Illuminating Guide To Each Book In The Bible by Peter Kreeft
- The Catholic Church and The Bible by Fr Peter M.J. Stravinskas
- Understanding The Scriptures: A Complete Course On Bible Study by Scott Hahn
- A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture by Scott Hahn
- Making Senses Out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did by Mark P. Shea
- St. John’s Gospel: A Bible Study Guide and Commentary by Stephen K. Ray
- Memorize the Faith! (and Most Anything Else): Using the Methods of the Great Catholic Medieval Memory Masters by Kevin Vost
- Where is That in the Bible? by Patrick Madrid
- A Biblical Defense of Catholicism by Dave Armstrong
Vatican II Facts – Getting Dogmatic
Looking at the idea of dogma because of the official title of Lumen Gentium: The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
- Dogma is Latin for something that is a “philosophical tenet.”
- Philosophy is a combination of the two Greek words philo (pursuit of) and sophia (wisdom); therefore, philosophy is pursuing wisdom.
- Tenet is “a belief or idea that is very important to a group.”
- Dogma is tenet which has been considered as a philosophical truth.
- Church’s Magisterium is the teaching authority given to the Church by the Holy Spirit.
- A dogma is a truth. While we may not fully understand the truth right now, that does not make it any less of a truth.
- Catholic Encyclopedia entry Dogma
- Listing of Catholic Dogmas, and a listing of theological grades of certainty referenced in the list of dogmas.
- Pray “Come, Holy Spirit” to help you “learn especially how to perform the mission of Christ and the Church by being sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit.” In particular, to develop a personal relationship with Jesus.
May you be open to receiving the blessings that the Father has for you.
May you be open to conforming yourself to the image of Christ, the light of nations.
May you be open to the boldness of the Holy Spirit guiding you to live a life worthy of your calling.
May you be seeking God’s will for your life and doing what brings Him greater glory.
And I for these blessing on you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God!
Saint George Preca, pray for us!