When we tell our story we usually begin from our birth. That’s where most stories begin, from the beginning. However, God had no beginning. He is the eternal “I am” who always was, always is and always will be. We cannot possibly begin to understand what can never be understood.
Yet, through the ages God has given us hints of who God is. The Church has taught, as dogma, that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Such a revelation didn’t happen overnight. Took years of remembering the words of Jesus. Jesus taught by example more than statements. The Church Fathers and Mothers sat down to look back, after the dust had settled from the Ascension and folks resumed their routines. Similar things must have been said, “Remember the time that Jesus told us, ‘When you see me, you see the Father. The Father and I are one. I’m going to send you the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, who will tell you everything you need to know. I am with you always, until the end of the age.’” They might have also said, “Remember when we asked Him to teach us to pray and Jesus shocked all of us by calling God ‘Abba’. We were all accustomed to offering sacrifices to God to keep Him happy, to keep Him from punishing us for our sins. But Jesus kicked everybody who was selling the sacrifices out of the Temple and told us we had the wrong idea. Fact is, when sin was discussed, Jesus spoke of forgiveness. Remember the woman who was guilty as charged for committing adultery. Everyone thought that she would be stoned to death. But Jesus surprised us when He said, ‘Let the one among you who is free of sin be the first to cast a stone at her.’ And the accusers walked away. Jesus set her free, although she was a notorious sinner.” The early Christians concluded that the Hebrew Scriptures portrayed an image of God that became irrelevant. Human consciousness developed and so did our understanding, especially in the light of Jesus Christ. We are limited creatures, using limited language, trying to imagine what is beyond our capacity.
Look at how far we have progressed. The One responsible is Jesus Christ. He not only told us who God is, He showed us who God is because He is God. He is “Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.” We say the words but can never fully grasp what we say. Books have been written—volumes—documents are on file which elaborate on the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The first sentences in the Gospel of St. John give us a hint: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
Impossible for finite creatures to imagine the infinite. Yet, consider the earliest memory of childhood, particularly when we were frightened. Somehow being between mother and father in the bed at night made everything seem safe—like the universe could be trusted—like we were invincible. That’s why Jesus took our human nature—to make us feel safe. Between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—we are safe—invincible. The real mystery is not so much that God became part of us but that we became part of God. He lifts us up to His divinity and makes us like Himself. Therefore, logically, Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us. Countless have yet to hear the message of freedom and are trapped in the guilt of their past. Evil will always try to confuse us, make us forget, distract us from realizing our true identity. One of the devil’s favorite tricks is guilt—the voice that says that God is angry with us, going to punish us, that we will never be forgiven. A liar from the beginning, the opposite of truth, the opposite of love, the opposite of unity. We cannot live for ourselves, but for Him who has given us life. When we realize that we are loved without conditions, no one can take our freedom away.
In Christ, through Christ and for Christ we have our true identity. Regardless of what happens, we have nothing to fear.