Understanding WHO God is is a very difficult thing to do. Anyone who says, “I know exactly who God is,” is not right. Yes, we can have a relationship with the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And it is probably the easiest to have a relationship and understand the most about Jesus Christ, because He walked the earth and we have written sayings of His and documentation on His life. However, we cannot fully know God (the three Persons). The reason for that is that we are finite beings. We live, and we die. Hopefully, we pray, we get to spend eternity with the Father in Heaven when we do die. But we are His creatures. And as such, we are finite.
God, on the other hand, is infinite. He neither has a beginning or an end. He exists within time and space, yes, but also outside of it. He exists in everything, everyone, and everywhere. Saint Paul struggles with understanding who God is in the Letter to the Romans, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” (Rom. 11:34) The answer is that only God knows Himself. It is because He is infinite and only something infinite can understand another thing that is infinite. Now, the really cool thing here is when Jesus is talking about God the Father, refers just to this fact in the Gospel of Matthew, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matt. 11:27) Jesus then goes on to say the He and the Father are “One.” When listening to these readings, sometimes we can often think, “O.K. Jesus, what on earth are you talking about?” He is speaking of their infinite greatness, something our finite simplicity cannot possibly understand.
This is not to say God does not want to have a relationship with us. He absolutely does. He just wants to have a PROPER relationship with us. And one of the ways we have a proper relationship with our infinite God is through analogy - Prince of Peace, Wonder Counselor, Sacred Heart of Jesus, King of Kings, and so forth - all analogies so that in our finiteness, we can have the right relationship with God. Even their holy names - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are analogous for us. This weekend, we celebrate Jesus, King of the Universe. It is an analogous name to allow us to fall to our knees in thanksgiving to the King who has conquered death and allows us to have the chance in eternal life in heaven with Him. He leads his people, His Kingdom, which shines with Divine, Eternal light for the world to see.
And this is important. It’s important because when we keep a PROPER relationship with our God, our faith is full and rich. We do not treat God like an ATM machine where we insert prayers and receive an answer to our prayers from the mythical, divine, ATM machine. We also don’t make God to be whomever we want Him to be - aka - I will believe in the teachings of the church but not the pro-life stance; or, as some people call it - “cafeteria Catholics” - picking and choosing what to believe in and what not to. When we do so, we put God’s infinite greatness into the box of only what our finite simplicity can understand. This is not the right relationship with our God. It’s not how God wants to have a relationship with us.
But keeping a proper relationship with God, while making our faith rich and deep, also allows us to have rich and deep relationships with our family, friends, and those whom we meet. It keeps us in having proper relationship, too, with, let’s say, dogs. If we keep our relationship with God where it needs to be - in the proper place - we are able to participate more in the divine life of God (aka participating in things that are eternal) and making more fruitful, beautiful relationships with those whom we love and meet along the way to Him.
As we approach the holy Season of Advent and Christmas, let us focus on our relationship with Him, and take advantage of all the great opportunities at Visitation to grow our faith more deeply and fully.
May the Lord give you His peace,