Paul on Paul – 25th April 2021

4th Sunday of Easter; Year B
1 John 3:1-2

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.

In what is quite a simple, 2 line passage in today’s 2nd Reading, there are 2 really fundemental truths of Christianity, which can seem so obvious that they can be easily missied.

The first, in the first verse is that we are god’s children. In so many myths or creation stories, the realtionship between the gods and humanity is ambivilant at best or out right antagonistic at worst. But the Truth, the Christian Truth, is that God is not only are we not an accient or sideffect – we’re the purpose. We are called “…God’s children; and that is what we are”. When the world refuses to aknowlegde that part of our identity – or when we refuse to aknowledge or share that part of who we are – then we deny part of our own identity.

The 2nd lesson we can take away is this – that though we seek relationship with God, and we seek to know God, we do not yet see Him as He truly is. Our understanding of God on Earth can only ever be a foretaste of our comprehnsion of God in Heaven; just like our celebration of the Mass is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. But what we do not know about God, we do not know. The whole of salvation history is the stroy of God slowly revealing himself to humanity – firstly to the Jews through Moses, and then the Prophets; and then personally in Jesus Christ. But this is not the end of the story; ou undertsanding of God improves alongside our relationship with Him. And the hope every Christian holds is that, one day, we shall be with Him in Heaven and what comes beyond – and we shall know him intimately, the stain of sin removed from us and humanity, and we will “be like him becuase we shall see him as he really is”.

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