COR THOUGHTS 250: Begotten by God


In this weekend’s second reading, St. John tells us that those who believe in Jesus are “begotten by God” (1 Jn 5:1). When we read Scripture with “spousal lenses,” verses like this leap out at us. To be “begotten by God” means to be regenerated (recreated, reborn) through the gift of baptism. And baptism, St. John Paul II tells us, is “the expression of spousal love” (TOB 91:7). When Christ’s spousal love is poured out in the sacrament of baptism, his Church-Bride “brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life” (CCC 507). This is a virginal birth, of course, by grace. Nonetheless, there is a certain analogy between the two orders (nature and grace). Since grace builds on nature, the natural way of conception and birth serves in some way as the model of supernatural conception and birth. How are we naturally begotten? Through the union of man and woman. How are we supernaturally begotten? Through the union of Christ and the Church. Since death entered the world, the world conquers those who are naturally begotten (death comes to us all). But “whoever is begotten by God,” St. John tells us, “conquers the world.” Amen!