Day 28: The Nature of God (198-204)
Today we are jumping into Chapter 1: I Believe in God the Father, Article 1: “I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.”
Yesterday and the day before we talked about THE CREED
The Apostles’ Creed
The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed
BOTH ARE VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!
All the creeds are SUPER IMPORTANT
The FIRST ARTICLE of the Creed is “I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER…”
We are going to HIGHLIGHT the fact that our FAITH begins with GOD
GOD IS THE FIRST AND THE LAST!!
GOD IS THE BEGINNING AND END OF EVERYTHING!!
For the next couple of days, it’s kind of like we are talking about the MYSTERY OF GOD
We will learn some big words like INEFFABLE
God who is UNCHANGEABLE
God who is INCOMPREHENSIBLE
God who is ALMIGHTY
That’s what we know about God
Sometimes, we are kind of flippant with those words
There are occasions where Fr. Mike approaches God as if, “Yeah yeah. I know who God is. I know what God is.”
GOD IS ABSOLUTELY SO MUCH MORE!!
The Catechism reminds us that yes, GOD IS ONE
GOD IS A PERSON!!
GOD IS A PERSONAL GOD!!
We are not saying we believe in WHAT
We are saying we believe in WHO
This is WHAT God has done of course
WE BELIEVE IN A WHO!!
Fr. Mike’s best friend said, “Everytime I stand up on Sunday and recite the Creed and we say, ‘I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth…’ and keep going on. Sometimes we think this is WHAT we believe about God. I really want to hold in my mind and in my heart that I am describing WHO I believe. Not just here is WHAT I believe. I am describing WHO I believe. Because, ultimately God is not a WHAT. God is a WHO.”
God is both, obviously
God is THE DIVINE BEING
God also reveals Himself as Father and Son and Holy Spirit
We always want to hold in our minds and hearts the fact that even when we talk about WHAT God is…
We are always talking ultimately about WHO GOD IS
Does that make sense?
One of the ways we can remind ourselves and guarantee that we NEVER lose sight of WHO God is and how He is drawing us into RELATIONSHIP WITH HIMSELF is through PRAYER
So let's begin our day now with a prayer!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in heaven, we give you praise. You are the Father in heaven. You are the Father on earth. You are the Lord of everything. And you've sent us your son Jesus Christ, who is also God, to be our Savior. And you've sent us your Holy Spirit, who is also God, to guide us and to sanctify us. So Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, help us to understand your nature, help us to understand what you are, and help us to understand even more fully who you are, that we might be drawn into your heart even more deeply. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God the Father. Amen”
Was Fr. Mike not right? (ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???? IS THIS NOT WHY YOU ARE HERE?? 😉 Are You Not Entertained ?)
THIS IS SO COOL!!
We are now diving into THE CREED
What we talked about up to now is SO IMPORTANT
GOD REVEALING HIMSELF TO US
OUR RESPONSE OF FAITH
THE CREED BINDS US TOGETHER AS BELIEVERS
Now that we get to talk DIRECTLY ABOUT GOD there is something that is ABSOLUTELY SO GOOD!!
ISN’T IT JUST SO GOOD?
So what does our Profession of Faith say?
Paragraph 198 says, “Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last…The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God’s works.”
“I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.”
Because Creation is the beginning and foundation of ALL OF GOD’S WORKS
We are starting with the most basic and foundational
There is ONE GOD
He is God THE FATHER
He made HEAVEN AND EARTH
That is ALL CREATION
COMES FROM GOD!!
It is VERY VERY IMPORTANT that the faithful FIRST PROFESS THEIR BELIEF IN GOD who reveals Himself progressively to us
One of the articles that is HIGHLIGHTED in Chapter 1: I Believe in God the Father is the fact that GOD IS ONE BEING
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICALLY IMPORTANT!!
There is ONE Divine Being
ONE Supreme Divine Being
There are NOT many of them
There are NOT even three
When we start to talk about God being THREE DISTINCT PERSONS
THREE DIVINE PERSONS
HIS ESSENCE STILL IS ONE!!
You can say it like this…
God is a SINGLE WHAT and THREE WHOs
God is WHO?
FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT
God is WHAT?
ONE DIVINE BEING!!
That KIND OF helps us understand what we are really talking about
Paragraph 202 says, “Jesus himself affirms that God is ‘the one Lord’ whom you must love ‘with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is ‘the Lord.’ To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God. Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as “Lord and giver of life” introduce any division into the One God.”
Lateran Council IV says, “We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal, infinite (immensus) and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty, and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple.”
The Trinity is a MYSTERY
God’s identity is the DEEPEST MYSTERY that any of us could even BEGIN TO PONDER
When we say MYSTERY we mean it in the way that Christians mean MYSTERY
Not like Sherlock Holmes cracking the case of the Hound of Baskervilles!! 😉
Solving the problem and figuring it out
MYSTERY meaning we will NEVER FULLY GRASP…
All of the DEPTH
All of the COMPLEXITY
All of the IMMENSITY
All of the SIMPLICITY
OF WHO GOD ULTIMATELY IS!!
Not even WHAT God ultimately is
We use these words ETERNAL, INFINITE, UNCHANGEABLE, INCOMPREHENSIBLE
As if we know what they mean
We have a SENSE of what they mean
Can we even really actually fully GRASP what they mean?
That’s one of the reasons the word INEFFABLE is used
We cannot even BEGIN TO COMPREHEND
Paragraphs 203 and 204 highlight this TRUTH
YES! GOD IS COMPLETE MYSTERY!!
Maybe not COMPLETE mystery
Paragraph 203 says, “God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them.”
There is something about God where He allows us to GRASP HIM
He allows us ACCESS TO HIM
Paragraph 203 continues, “A name expresses a person’s essence and identity and the meaning of this person’s life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one’s name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.”
THIS IS THE TRUTH!!
Yes we will talk about the MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY
We will talk about the MYSTERY OF THAT RELATIONSHIP between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
ONE DIVINE BEING
THREE DIVINE PERSONS
WHICH IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE
God has become ACCESSIBLE
God has made Himself capable of being known MORE INTIMATELY
God has made Himself capable of being addressed PERSONALLY
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US!!
Tomorrow we will dive MORE DEEPLY into the fact that God calls to Moses from the burning bush
Paragraph 204 teases it out there, “God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people, but the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the New Covenants was the revelation of the divine name to Moses in the theophany of the burning bush…”
THEOPHANY means “a physical manifestation to mankind of God”
God reveals Himself, His name in the burning bush
We will talk about that NAME tomorrow!!
Sometimes, in some ways, it is enough to know that God, who is MYSTERY, has made Himself ACCESSIBLE
God has made Himself KNOWN
God has given us a NAME
MORE THAN ONE NAME THAT WE CAN CALL HIM
To have ACCESS to a relationship with Him
To have ACCESS to His heart
So we call upon that NAME
THIS DAY AND EVERY DAY!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 198 "Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last, the beginning and the end of everything.
"Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let him proclaim it,
let him declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
Let them tell us what is yet to be."
The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works."
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters."
CCC 199 "I believe in God": this first affirmation of the Apostles' Creed is also the most fundamental. The whole Creed speaks of God, and when it also speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God. The other articles of the Creed all depend on the first, just as the remaining Commandments make the first explicit. The other articles help us to know God better as he revealed himself progressively to men. "The faithful first profess their belief in God."
"And God spoke all these words, saying,
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments."
CCC 200 "These are the words with which the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed begins. The confession of God's oneness, which has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant, is inseparable from the profession of God's existence and is equally fundamental. God is unique; there is only one God: "The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence."
1 Timothy 2:1–7
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."
CCC 201 "To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One…"
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
"Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only God.."
“Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear.’
“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed,
all who were incensed against him.
In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
shall triumph and glory.”
CCC 202 "Jesus himself affirms that God is "the one Lord" whom you must love "with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength". At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is "the Lord".
"And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
till I put thy enemies under thy feet.’
David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly."
To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God.
"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
"But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as "Lord and giver of life" introduce any division into the One God
"It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you."
2 Corinthians 3:4–6
"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life."
CCC 204 "God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people, but the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the New Covenants was the revelation of the divine name to Moses in the theophany of the burning bush, on the threshold of the Exodus and of the covenant on Sinai."
"Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”