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Browsing Fr. Joel Hastings

"Bosom of Abraham", "Son of Man", and "rejoice in His consolation"

Where is the bosom of Abraham?

     This expression of the “bosom of Abraham” is used by Jesus in His parable about the rich man and the poor beggar Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. He says that when Lazarus died, he was carried off to the bosom of Abraham, which is to say he was carried off to rest among the righteous, first of whom (in terms of the Old Testament) was Abraham. It seems likely that Jesus’ reference to Lazarus resting in Abraham’s bosom was to establish that Lazarus and Abraham were still awaiting the fullness of redemption that would only be accomplished in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension – as opposed to His telling of this parable by saying that Lazarus rested in the Father’s presence or in paradise (as He will say to the good thief on the cross in the same gospel according to Luke in Luke 23:43). Thus, we can reasonably conclude that the bosom of Abraham was a manner of speaking of the resting place of the righteous prior to salvation – which is neither hell nor is it the same as the fullness of eternal life in God’s presence in heaven that is only offered through Jesus Christ.

Why does Jesus refer to himself (in the Bible) as “Son of Man?” and others refer to Jesus as Son of Man. Why not just Son of God?

     Both of the titles (Son of God and Son of Man) are significant in identifying Jesus – as they each reveal deeper truth about “who” Jesus is as God the Son and as fully human in His incarnate nature. As the “Only begotten Son of God,” Jesus is understood in one sense as being like those to whom the use of the term “son of God” is given in the Old Testament, which refers at times to angels or any who were understood as having a close, intimate relationship with God Himself. However, that He is the Son of God is to say that He is of the same, eternal nature as God – that He Himself is God.

     As for Son of man, this title is used frequently in the Gospels by Jesus Himself and only rarely by others. In the early Church, the typical understanding was that Jesus used this title simply out of humility, with some voices even saying that Jesus may have spoken of Himself this way so as to not cause graver concern in those who already were not disposed to believing in Him. However, we can see that by His own use of this title and the lack of others using it (especially among the evangelists and apostles) that Jesus’ use had unique meaning – perhaps as a means of emphasizing His human nature (which would have been plain to see) ahead of His true divine essence (which was only to be accepted in faith.)

What is meant by “rejoice in His consolation” in prayer when referring to the Holy Spirit?

     I admit that I am not immediately familiar with this reference, or where these particular words are found. The Holy Spirit is understood (according to Jesus’ words) to be the “Paraclete,” which is often translated as “advocate,” but may also be rendered as “consoler.” In calling the Holy Spirit the “consoler,” the reality of His
presence and accompanying of those within whom the Spirit dwells is verbalized.  Thus, my best guess (without full knowledge of “where” this expression as related in the question here is found) is to say that we rejoice in the Holy Spirit that dwells within us and aids us in living as God’s own children.



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