January 16th – Relating to God


St. Luke tells us in Acts that Jesus “went about doing good.” It is not wrong or mistaken to refer to Jesus as a good man. But it is also obviously a weak summary of what we can appreciate by relating to him. We must at least ask how faith in his resurrection alters our ways of relating to God. There have always been some clashes in a small way between those who admire Jesus for the great integrity of his life, and those who see him as providing a direct relationship with God. But both are right. The mystery of who Jesus is has to contain both of these concerns and the religious behaviour that fits with them.

The big debates in fourth century Church councils were meant to clarify one point: that there must exist at least one human being who can show us, at the end of the day, that we are deserving of love in the eyes of God. Jesus Christ is that one person of whom we cannot suggest that he is not loved by God. And we are all in the same human race as him. Different traditions of prayer and different writers in the churches have discovered a variety of possible expressions of this wonder.

But we should also be aware of the conversion aspects of relating to God’s love. The gospels show this to be a journey of new discoveries for each person. Each of us has to face a future in which more is waiting for us to learn.



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