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Catholic Dictionary




A title of Christ as the one who reconciled God and the human race. It is based on the teaching of St. Paul, that "there is only one god, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed Himself as a ransom for them all" (I Timothy 2:5-6). Christ is best qualified to be the mediator, i.e., one who brings estranged parties to agreement. As God, he was the one with whom the human race was to be reconciled; as a human being, he represented the ones who needed reconciliation. Christ continues his work of mediation, no longer to merit the grace of human forgiveness, but to communicate the grace already won on the Cross. Moreover, others than Christ may also be called mediators in a totally secondary sense, "in that they co-operate in our reconciliation; disposing and ministering to men's union with God" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III, 48, 1). In fact every person, insofar as he or she co-operates with divine grace, is a kind of mediator between himself or herself and God. (Etym. Latin mediator, from mediare, to stand or divide in the middle.)