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Begotten, not made

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deacon Robert Banet

Charlie, you look puzzled. What’s up?

I’ve been looking over the prayers of the Mass. You know, trying to get past merely mumbling them without understanding.

Good idea. What’s the problem?

It’s in the Nicene Creed, where it talks about the eternal Son of God.

Yes. Go on.

It says “begotten, not made.” What does that mean?

We don’t use that word very often but when you beget, you beget something like yourself; when you make, you make something different.

Explain, please.

When you make a table, you make something different than yourself; when you beget, you beget someone like yourself.

Oh, I get it. The Father does not make the Son; he begets someone like Himself.

Right. Ancient heretics wanted to say the Son was a creature, that he was made. Some modern heretics do the same.

I see. But when did this begetting take place?

Ah, there you get into deep mystery. It’s not an event that took place; it’s something that takes us outside of time.

Oh, that’s what “eternally begotten” means.

Right. It means that even as we speak the Father begets the Son.

That blows my mind.

As well it should! God is a breath-taking mystery.

And yet He reveals Himself to us.

Yes, as much as our tiny minds can take in.

Praise God!

Amen to that!

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