Jessica Lenehan

Hypo-what?… Both God and Human: the Hypostatic Union

In addition to serving at Covecrest, the missionaries and staff are also involved in outreach to the local community. This year, we are helping to coordinate youth groups for the two local Catholic parishes: St. Helena and St. Mark. Last Sunday, the topic for Life Night at St. Mark’s was the hypostatic union. This term, while it sounds very scientific, refers to the Church’s teaching that Jesus was both fully God and fully human. Because Jesus was fully God, He was able to save the world through His death and resurrection. Because He was fully human, Jesus was able to live in the world and walk with His people here on Earth.

Jesus can relate to us, even now, because He experienced what it is like to be human. One point we talked about with the teens is that we are often told that our “flesh” is bad: the idea that spirituality is good, but humanity is bad. However, this can’t be true because Jesus took on flesh – He would not have become human if humanity was “bad.” I’ve learned about the hypostatic union before, but I had never thought about this aspect before.

Since the first week of our mission year, we’ve been talking about spirituality and humanity, and this Life Night ingrained those discussions even more in my head. We were not created as only spiritual beings. God created us human: soul AND body. God, and our relationship with Him, should be the center of our lives: our focus that everything else flows from, but we cannot neglect the rest of our humanity. We should be feeding our minds by learning new things and taking care of our bodies in what we eat, the way we exercise, etc. Another big thing we often forget about when life gets busy is making time to do things we really enjoy. When’s the last time you thought about what you actually like to do? Not just things you do to occupy a few minutes of your spare time, but what do you really enjoy doing? God created everything about us, including our interests, and He wants those to thrive as well. I know for me, it had been quite a while since I thought about what I like to do, but now that I have, it definitely brings more joy to my life.

“The glory of God is man fully alive.” – Saint Irenaeus

God calls us to be holy, and to be whole in body, mind, and spirit. What can you do this week or this month to be more alive as the person God created you to be?

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Jessica Lenehan

About the Author

I was born and raised in Southern California, and I graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2009. I went on my first mission trip my junior year of college and have continued to fall in love with mission ever since. This is my fourth year serving as a full-time missionary, and I love it even more than ever! I am continually in awe of God’s love and faithfulness! You can email me at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter @LT_JessicaL.