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Chapter 2. God Comes to Meet Us • 13

inner life and his loving plan to save us from sin and share in his divine

life. No amount of unaided thinking could penetrate such a mystery.

God freely chose to share this hidden mystery with us. God’s sharing

was an act of friendship for us, revealing himself as one reveals his or her

heart to a friend. Love does such things.

God’s Revelation unfolded gradually throughout history. “Wishing

to open up the way to heavenly salvation, he manifested himself to our

first parents from the very beginning. After the fall, he buoyed them up

with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption” (Second Vatican


Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation


Dei Verbum


DV], no. 3; cf. Gn 3:15).

God continued over the succeeding centuries to provide providential

care for those he created in his image and likeness. He called Abraham

to make of him a great nation, a chosen people through whom salva-

tion would come to the world. In the encounter of God with Moses,

God reveals himself as “I am who am.” These words reveal something

about God, who, nevertheless, still remains mysterious. God is revealed

as the source of all that is, but who he is will be revealed still further as

he continues his loving work for his people. The prophets, in reflecting

on God’s actions, will make clearer the nature of God. But the clearest

Revelation will come in Jesus Christ.

“In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ances-

tors; in these last days he spoke to us through a son” (Heb 1:1-2). This

Son was Jesus Christ, the fullness of Revelation. Wonderful indeed is

this mystery of our faith in Jesus Christ, as we say in professing it, “[He]

was manifested in the flesh, / vindicated in the Spirit; / seen by angels;

/ proclaimed to the Gentiles, / believed throughout the world, / taken up

in glory” (1 Tm 3:16).

Revelation is the self-disclosure of the living God. God shows himself

by both great deeds, as narrated for us in Scripture, and by the words

that illumine the meaning of these deeds (see DV, no. 2). In Revelation,

the tremendous gulf between God and the human race is bridged. More

profoundly God desires to have an intimate relationship with all people.

The process of Revelation, which took centuries to unfold, reached its

magnificent fulfillment in the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.