Nov 08 – Homily – Fr Alan: Absolute Primacy of Christ, Even on Election Day

By November 8, 2016March 2nd, 2019Fr. Alan Wharton, Homily, New Bedford, MA

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Blessed John Duns Scotus' doctrine on the Absolute Primacy of Christ is the theological completion of St. Francis' mystical intuition, and affirms that Christ, the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, is the reason that all creation exists, and would have come, even if Adam had not sinned.

His argumentation is as follows (excerpted from Fr. Stefano Manelli's biography on Scotus*: Blessed John Duns Scotus: Marian Doctor).

The Incarnation is the supreme expression of the glory and the love that God receives from creation through Christ, apart from the refusal of the angels and men to love God. Quite independently of the response of creatures, God realizes his divine plan of supreme glory and supreme love in the Incarnate Word."

"If Adam’s sin had been the primary reason for the Incarnation, it would necessarily follow that Jesus, the 'Masterpiece of God!' was only an after-thought occasioned by Adam’s unworthiness, and in a certain sense, making the sin of the angels and men praiseworthy.

[One might object:] "But has the Church not always expressly taught that the Incarnation of the Word occurred in order to redeem man from sin, as the Creed affirms: 'For our salvation He came down from heaven?'"

'Certainly,' replies Blessed Scotus, with the Franciscan school. But the Church has never held that this was the only, exclusive or even principal reason for the Incarnation. Our redemption, explains Blessed Scotus, is only a reason consequent on sin, without doubt ... important, but not as important as the first and fundamental reason: to achieve the maximum glorification and love of God.

The Word became Incarnate in order to realize the great plan of glory and the universal love of God. To this primary end is then joined the redemption of man, this too being an expression of love without limit, in accord with the norm proclaimed by Jesus Christ Himself: 'Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends' (Jn 15:13). Jesus, in fact, could have redeemed us with a sigh, but chose instead to redeem us with His tremendous Passion and Death. Why? Only because 'He Himself has willed it so' (Is 53:7): He Himself, who is the God of love!

This doctrine is not irrelevant on Election Day. The Absolute Primacy of Christ is an important consideration for our moral life: it underlies Christ's right as King, to be recognized by all creatures, even in the civil realm. Christians, who must translate faith into lived reality should remember this as they live out their public and private lives.

Ave Maria!

* available for purchase online at Academy of the Immaculate -

Mass: Bl. John Duns Scotus - Opt Mem

Readings: Tuesday in the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time
1st: Tit 2:1-8, 11-14
Resp: psa 37:3-4, 18, 23, 27, 29 0
Gsp: luk 17:7-10

Audio (MP3)


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