By FATHER KENNETH DOYLE
Q. Something I heard recently at Mass bothered me. The priest, reading from the Scriptures, said: "God raised Jesus from the dead." While this statement doesn't exactly dispute Jesus' divinity, it certainly doesn't affirm it -- and it could easily be construed as a denial of Christ's divine nature. Could you comment? (Marietta, Georgia)
A. You heard the priest correctly. He may have been quoting from Luke in the Acts of the Apostles (2:23-24): "This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it."
Neither this quote -- nor any scriptural passage -- negates the divinity of Jesus. The belief of the church is that the resurrection of Jesus involved all three persons of the Trinity.
Galatians 1:1 speaks of "God the Father who raised him (Jesus) from the dead"; Romans 8:11 attributes the resurrection to the Holy Spirit; and in the Gospel of John (2:19), Jesus -- speaking of his body -- says: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." So the act of raising Jesus from the dead was not accomplished by only one person of the Trinity but was the work of all three.
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Questions may be sent to Father Kenneth Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, New York 12203.