Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus

Deacon Sage Defends His Baccalaureate Synthesis


30 May 2016, STS - Jerusalem
By: Vladimir Plasek, SDB

On May 31st, Deacon Tomasz Karol Sage successfully passed the Baccalaureate Exam and became a Bachelor of Theology. The topic of his thesis was: “No one is more human than Christ. Humanity and its vocation in the light of Christ who is the image of the Father, the centre of creation and the perfect human.” ┬áHis tutor was William Russel and the reader Karol Kulpa. Tomasz based his theological synthesis on good knowledge of the teaching of the Church, Church Fathers and opinions of theologians, both medieval (T. Aquinas, D. Scotus) and contemporary (W. Kasper, H. U. Von Balthasar, J. McQuarrie, K. Rahner, T. de Chardin).

Deacon Tomasz was, in his theological synthesis, motivated by the question as to whether it is legitimate to say that no one is more human than Christ and if so, in what sense he may be described as more human than human beings. He developed this theme in five chapters: Christ, the image of the Father. Christ, the centre of all creation, Christ the perfect human, No one is more human than Christ and finally Humanity and its vocation. He referred to Vatican II and St. John Paul II with the central idea, that we cannot know who the man is if we do not understand properly the humanity of Christ. This supported the fact that main part of his synthesis, the first three chapters, are the Christological part, the fifth chapter is the anthropological part and the fourth chapter is the bridge between them with the conclusion how Christ, the perfect human, can be a relevant model for the contemporary young people.

In his work, he shows us why we call Jesus the perfect image of the Father. He discussed Anselm’s question: “Why did God became man?” in the view of two approaches, Thomist and Scottist and left possible reconciliation of both views as a challenge for the contemporary theologians. He explained well the term “kenosis” in terms of the humiliation of Christ, who laid aside the “privileges” of being divine to become truly human and reached the extreme in the shameful death on the cross. Part of the title of this work is shown to be inspired by the words of St. Irenaeus of Lyons: “The Father is the invisible of Son, but Son the visible of the Father, therefore Jesus Christ is the image of the Father.” (p.34).

Deacon Tomasz further presented the Paschal Mystery as the central event that points out our origin and mission in the universe and Christ as the crown of all creation, who in perfect response to the Father, became the best example for us. Without the Paschal Mystery we could not understand how to reach full humanity. One of the arguments for presenting Christ more human then we are is that he was without sin, which dehumanizes us and damages us. In the last chapter he presented the mission of redeemed man following Christ and announcing salvation to everyone in the universe, with hope that through the resurrected body we may reach the beatific vision with all of creation. In this way, Mary without sin, but still a human being, is a masterpiece of God’s salvation.

To Fr William Russel’s question, “How to present Christ to young people today?” Deacon Tomasz’ answer was inspired by Cardinal Ratzinger’s two suggestions. Firstly, that the pierced side of Christ, where the new humanity began, brings us back to the side of Adam, where the original vocation of God was revealed, He created us out of love. Secondly, the outstretched hands of Christ on the cross, where he gave praise to God and embraced the humanity, lead us to our mission to worship God and serve all humanity, especially those at the peripheries, as Christ is described in serving the Samaritan in the Gospel.

The Reader, Fr. Karol Kulpa asked a question on how getting closer to Jesus through a spirituality of devotion to Mary can presented as biblically sound. At the end of the questions and answers from the whole commission, Fr. Biju Michael, the Principal declared the successful candidate a Bachelor of Theology.




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