CHRIST OUR SAVIOR
Roman Catholic Parish
MANCHESTER, VERMONT

 
 

July 28, 2019

Dear All,

Since false gods do not exist, talking about them is really talking about just an idea. Talking about the real God, however, could not be further from talking about an idea. Yet talking about 'God' - the real one - comes close to such a discussion, and there are lots of Christians whose understanding of God does not go much deeper than that. Let me state then, maybe for a fourth or fifth time, that God is not just an idea or a hypothesis or the logically necessary conclusion to a syllogism.

The Apostles' Creed informs us that God is the Father; only secondarily is he the almighty Creator of heaven and earth. Let us unpack that phrase - or better - this first truth about God.

From all eternity, God is some-one to some-one else; a Father to a Son. To be God is to be connected, and connected by mutual love and self-gift. We are accustomed to thinking of Jesus and God the Father, as different; different numerically, different functionally and different psychologically. There have even been thinkers who called "God" the creator and lawgiver of the Old Testament, and Jesus, the Savior and pardoner of the New.

Nothing could be less true. The unity and uniformity of the 'two testaments' is far more real than most folk imagine. And to think that a Father and Son live and operate at eternal odds to one another is just silly. (Actually it comes close to creating a pair of idols - gods who are not God -- and asking worshippers to choose between them.) Jesus always speaks of his saving role as one undertaken in obedience to the Father and every time the Father speaks in the New Testament it is to point out this is my beloved son, hear him.

Because we think of fathers as preceding sons - one individual being older than another; we tend to think of God the Father as prior to the Son. But, if you think about it for just a moment, you realize that a father and a son begin to exist at exactly the same moment; a man is not a father until there is a son and there is no son until a man becomes a sire; their existence is utterly mutual, interdependent rather than dependent. In order to separate or oppose them one must tell a lie.

Philosophers and metaphysicians know about God because they understand the world in a certain way. Believers love God because he has made himself

known to us as the Father of Jesus Christ, as a Lover in his own right. Philosophers understand God and his role in the great scheme of all that is. Believers love God who is Love, says Saint John in his first Epistle and is a father to be loved.

In this truth lies the deepest and darkest - or shiniest - light of Christian life: it is love or it is nothing.

We will explore - but not exhaust - the meaning of that truth next time.

Really and truly and belovedly yours,

tm

 

     



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