Catholics/The God of Jesus

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Question
I have a question relating to some verses I have read. I was hoping you could provide an answer for me

Can you please explain just who Jesus is in relation to God.  Is he the Almighty, is one   individual that makes up the Almighty, if he is one of three individual that makes up the Almighty, Are he and The Father and the Holy Ghost all considered to be Gods in their own right. Or is Jesus one aspect of  the One God.

So when we read God in my Douay Bible just who is that referring to?  This has to do with the following verses as they  seem to be saying Jesus had a God the same God that his followers had


John 2:17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me: for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ: and the head of the woman is the man: and the head of Christ is God.

Colossians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.

Thank you for your time

Answer
We must remember that when speaking of God we are speaking of a mystery.  In light of this human language cannot exhaust the mystery of God and is inadequate.

Christians believe that God is a Trinity of persons, but a unity in nature. With respect to WHO God is, God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  With respect to WHAT God is, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are Divine because they possess the same nature.  

You should immediately notice that when Christians speak of God and answer questions about God they are answering TWO distinct questions.  If you ask me "WHO is God" I reply that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  God is three PERSONS, but with respect to God's NATURE, God is ONE.  If you ask me "What is the Father" I reply that the Father is God.  If you ask me "WHAT is the Son" I reply that the Son is God.  If you ask me "WHAT is the Holy Spirit" I reply that the Holy Spirit is God.  

When answering questions about NATURE we are answering questions about the ESSENCE of an entity.  For example if I ask you "WHAT are you" you would tell me that you are a human being. If I ask you the question "WHO" are you, you would tell me that you are Brenton.  When answering questions about "WHO" someone is we are answering questions about PERSONHOOD---or RELATIONSHIP.

Thus within the Godhead there are three PERSONS---that is to say three relationships: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  But these three PERSONS possess ONE DIVINE ESSENCE.  WHAT they are is GOD.  They are EQUAL in DIVINITY because they all possess the SAME DIVINE ESSENCE or NATURE.  they are distinct in PERSONHOOD because their relationship to each other is distinct.  

The Father is the source of all life, human and divine.  The Son and the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father but in distinct ways.  The Son proceeds from the Father by way of generation, the Spirit by way of spiration.  (The Spirit is the Breath of God.) However these processesions are ETERNAL, they do not happen in time.  Thus the Son and the Holy Spirit while proceeding from the Father are not CREATED beings for they have proceeded from the Father from eternity past.

The Son is the eternal WORD of God through whom all things were made.  The Father creates, the Son orders, the Spirit sanctifies.  This is why redemption is attributed to the Son.  When man sinned, disorder was entered into creation.  Because the Son is the one who brings order out of chaos, it was the Son to whom redemption is attributed even though of course redemption is the world of all three persons.  The Son as the word of God is the idea God has of Himself, but this idea is so perfect, complete and full that this idea is a person: the Word of God.  The Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son.  This love between Father and Son is so perfect, complete and full that this love is a person: the person of the Holy Spirit.  

Again: God is ONE with respect to His NATURE, God is THREE with respect to His PERSONHOOD.  

You ask "Who is Jesus in RELATION to God"  The answer depends on the meaning of your question.  "WHO" is Jesus? Jesus is the eternal Word of God made flesh. WHAT is Jesus?  Jesus is GOD.  When Jesus talks about "praying to God" Jesus was praying to God the Father.  In being redeemed we become "Son's IN the Son" because we are given by adoption what Jesus has by nature: Sonship of the Father.  

Thus when Jesus speaks about praying to God, Jesus is talking about praying to his FATHER.  Jesus and the Father share the same nature, but their PERSONHOOD is distinct.  This is why Jesus who IS GOD can pray to the Father WHO IS GOD.  

John 2:17: Jesus indeed is going to ascend to God the Father---God the Father is a distinct PERSON from Jesus (The Word of the Father incarnate) but possess the same NATURE as the Father.

1 Corinthians 11:3: We have to remember that when God created men and women He created men and women in His image.  Thus men and women on this Earth represent God and image God in their relationships.  However they do so in DISTINCT ways.  This is one of the many flaws of modern feminism: it fails to understand that while men and women are equally human, they represent or image what it means to be human in DISTINCT ways.  Feminism wants to do away with distinctions and make man and women androgynous. But God created the sexes to be COMPLEMENTARY.  This means what lacks in man women will tend to have and visa versa. TOGETHER men and women give the COMPLETE picture of humanity.  

The head of every man is Christ--because Men image Christ in their being.  The head of every women is the man because women represent the Body of Christ which is the Church.  Christ is the head of the Church, and his relationship to the Church is on the spiritual plain what the relationship between husband and wife is in marriage.

Incidentally: This is why marriage is a Sacrament, and why the Church objects to changing the definition of marriage to include anything but one man and one women.  God created marriage to image in the created sphere the relationship Jesus has with the Church on the spiritual level. In any case in marriage men represent Christ the head, women represent Christ's body which is the Church. Hence the head of ever man is Christ, and the head of every women is the man--for a body can only have one head.  This has nothing to do with chauvinism and everything to do with imaging HOW Christ relates to the Church which is His Body, and HOW the SONSHIP of Christ is present IN the Church.  

Colossians 1:3 God the Father IS the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, because our Lord Jesus Christ is eternally begotten (generated) from the Father.  Thus Jesus in his PERSONHOOD is the Son of the Father, but in his NATURE he is one in being with the Father or as the new translation of the creed more accurately says "CONSUBSTANTIAL with the Father" (Consubstantial means of the same substance or loosely "one in being.")

I hope this helps.  Keep in mind as you read my reply: language eventually fails when it comes to speaking of the mystery of God.  Through prayer and Bible reading, and loving God we can begin to penetrate the mystery, but we will never fully exhaust it.

Jesus is one of three PERSONS that are within the Godhead, but he is coequal with the other two persons of the Godhead because he possesses the same nature as the other two persons in the Godhead.  Remember: the ONENESS, the UNITY within the Godhead is in NATURE or ESSENCE, the plurality in God, the threeness in God is in PERSONHOOD. To speak of NATURE is to speak of WHAT something is, to speak of PERSONHOOD is to speak of WHO something (or someone) is.  

For further reading you can read the book called "Theology for Beginners" by Frank Sheed.  The book should be available on Amazon.  

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Father Dave Bechtel

Expertise

I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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