Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

We have heard many times the famous passage from John’s Gospel, “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son.” Imagine, however, that you meet someone who has no point of reference for religion, let alone the Catholic faith. If you ask him or her to read these words, he or she might have many questions, such as “Why God does not come directly instead of sending his son?” Or “What is the meaning of ‘only-begotten Son?’ Can you explain the meaning of the word ‘begotten?'”

St. Augustine in De fide et Symbolo (Faith and the Creed) explains that the only-begotten Son of God means that the Son was not created by the Father, but rather he has been fashioned. The Latin usage “to fashion” (condere) takes the place of “to create” (creare), which means “to beget” (gignere). We profess our faith in the Son who is an exalted creature, because it is through Him all things were made. Reading St. Augustine’s explanation might make us more confused. Although we cannot fully understand what the “only begotten son” means, we can ask God to help us to understand, at least to the tiniest degree, for the meaning expressed here: “God sent his only-begotten Son.”

April 26th, 2017