Is Jesus Really God?


jesus-pictures-crucifixionThe Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is pretty close to my home, so Witnesses regularly visit our neighborhood.  Their timing is very strategic, often just before holidays (which they don’t celebrate).  Last fall, they came on Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving.   I was putting something in my van, which was parked in the driveway.  No knocking was required since I was already outside.  My enthusiasm for God and the Bible surprised my visitor (“Sue”) and she has been back a couple of times.  She even sent me a letter in February because she had gone to Florida over the winter.  I had sort of expected her to show up on Holy Week, and sure enough she rang the bell on Wednesday.

Sue had a young companion with her on her most recent visit.  The young woman, a homeschooler in her senior year of high school, was very quiet and seemed skeptical of me when I invited them into the mudroom out of the cold wind.  Sue mentioned to the young woman that I homeschool my children.  I chatted away with “Sue” about the winter, her husband’s illness, and her job working in the local schools 20 years ago.  Sue asked if I  had read the book she had given me about the bible. I told her I had read some of it, but I didn’t make it all the way through.

I wondered what she would choose to share that week.  She had a Watchtower tract regarding the Resurrection.  I took it and read it after she left, scratching my head.  I know that the Bible has been translated to meet the ideas of various “Christian” denominations in order to fit their doctrine, but denying Jesus’ divinity is not common among Protestants.  I still don’t understand how the Witnesses can think of themselves as Christians while denying Christ’s divinity, but I am seeking information to help me understand.  Since that day I’ve been paying closer attention to scripture readings as they relate to Christ’s Divinity.

After she shared a reading from St. Paul to the Colossians, I shared my thoughts with Sue and her companion on the Seasons of Life that I had written about the day before her visit.  I read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 from her bible (I knew chapter and verse when she came since I had just looked it up the day before–thank you Holy Spirit! Next time, I’ll remember to grab my Ignatius RSV on the way to the door).  I thought quietly about the season of “seeking and finding and witnessing.”  For some reason, Sue is very drawn to me.  I imagine she may see in me a willing spirit who might become a JW, since I am welcoming to her, and I find joy in scripture.  My hope, of course, is that the Holy Spirit is drawing her to my door so that I may witness to her and help her find and seek the true God in the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  On our first visit, when she was alone, she mentioned that she was raised “Catholic.”  I pray that she finds the “Splendor of Truth” some day and comes home to the Catholic Church.
In today’s gospel this Divine Mercy Sunday, Thomas witnesses the Resurrected Lord and proclaims, “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28). The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a number of ways to explain this scripture.  Catholic Answers provides a useful analysis of The God of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in a way that helps me understand where their translations differ, as well as where their translation contradicts their own beliefs.

This experience reminds me that our faith instruction doesn’t conclude at Confirmation when we “don’t have to go to CCD any more.” Our Catholic faith is rich and deep. We need to continue to study and grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and be nourished by the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ if we hope to live with the Father in Paradise.


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