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The Profession of Faith

63

in his actions, and the better we know a person, the better we understand

his actions.

237

The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of

the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known

unless they are revealed by God.”

58

To be sure, God has left traces

of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation

throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy

Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to

Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending

of the Holy Spirit.

II.

T

he

R

evelation of

G

od as

T

rinity

The Father revealed by the Son

238

Many religions invoke God as “Father.” The deity is often

considered the “father of gods and of men.” In Israel, God is called

“Father” inasmuch as he is Creator of the world.

59

Even more, God

is Father because of the covenant and the gift of the law to Israel,

“his first-born son.”

60

God is also called the Father of the king of

Israel. Most especially he is “the Father of the poor,” of the or-

phaned and the widowed, who are under his loving protection.

61

239

By calling God “Father,” the language of faith indicates two main

things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent author-

ity; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his

children. God’s parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of

motherhood,

62

which emphasizes God’s immanence, the intimacy be-

tween Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws on the

human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives of

God for man. But this experience also tells us that human parents are

fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood. We

ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction be-

tween the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also

transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin

and standard:

63

no one is father as God is Father.

240

Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard-of sense:

he is Father not only in being Creator; he is eternally Father in

relation to his only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to his

Father: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one

58

Dei Filius

4: DS 3015.

59 Cf.

Deut

32:6;

Mal

2:10.

60

Ex

4:22.

61 Cf.

2 Sam

7:14;

Ps

68:6.

62 Cf.

Isa

66:13;

Ps

131:2

63 Cf.

Ps

27:10;

Eph

3:14;

Isa

49:15.

50

2443

370, 2779

2780

441-445