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Why I Believe in Jesus

belief conversion creed decision faith good news gospel incarnation jesus jesus christ redemption resurrection revelation salvation savior testimony truth Sep 14, 2022

One might be suspicious that I confess belief in Jesus and his gospel because I work at a Catholic seminary. However, I must confess that I work at a Catholic seminary because I believe in Jesus, his gospel, and his Church. If I did not believe in him, there is no way I would pretend to do so. Yet what does it mean to me to say that I believe in Jesus? Simply that. I believe him. I believe his life. I believe the credible testimonies surrounding him. I believe that he is the fullness of God’s revelation.

I believe that he is the one and only savior of the world. I believe that he was conceived in the womb of a virgin woman to show that he is both true God and true man. I believe that he suffered and died because of my sins and those of the whole world, and that he rose again from the dead to usher in a redeemed order of created being. I believe in Jesus because I believe in the fact that I am a sinner and stand in need of a savior. I believe in Jesus because he offers himself to me as the paradigmatic instance of personal self-giving that is the most heroic, loving, noble and responsible way of being in this world as a personal creature.

I believe in Jesus and the salvation he gives because I do not believe that I could save myself or anyone else by the feebleness of my own finite being. I believe in Jesus because I believe in the possibility of tragedy and trauma becoming transfigured into wholeness – the loving wholeness that precedes its disintegration and that attends its reintegration. I believe in Jesus because nowhere else have I encountered a summons of salvation so clear, so compelling, so complete, so inviting, so beautiful, so pure, so perfect. I believe in Jesus because he apparantly believes in me and in each one of us, and so we exist. I have chosen Jesus because he first chose me. I believe in Jesus as response to his calling me into being and further calling me into redemption. What am I without him? The same thing that I was before he welcomed me into existence: nothing. What is life without Jesus? A search for meaning and truth until it is found in him.

There seems to be no other antidote to the stronghold of sin in our lives than the one who sets us free from its bondage because he is not held in its death grip. There seems to be no other remedy for loneliness than the bond of love that has been revealed as the very relations between the three uncreated Persons of the Most Holy Trinity. I believe in Jesus because I do not believe in his counterfeits. I believe in Jesus despite my duplicity and the hypocritical history of those of us who claim to be his followers but fail at times to be his authentic witnesses. I believe in Jesus because it is the greatest act of freedom in how it sets freedom free from its shackled impostures, namely, the world, the flesh, the devil, and the treachery of the self.

© Donald Wallenfang, My Interior Castle, 2022

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