“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people… The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev 21:3, 5)
The Holy Trinity is a thoroughly self-sustaining communion of three divine persons. To say this is of course true and not true. It is true in that we may firmly believe that the one and only Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit needs nothing outside itself to fulfill itself: its Nature, that is, its Divine Nature is thoroughly accomplished and fully content. Our opening sentence is also not wholly true in that all human descriptions of the Blessed Trinity fall short of its complete beauty and majesty. Even the great St. Thomas Aquinas, who once received a personal revelation that he had written well of God, received another more beautiful and majestic vision which left him saying (in comparison) that all he had written was “straw”.
God did not need to create us or the world; neither we nor the world sustain him (Is 40:15-16). Yet, as we say and believe, “He created us because he loves us”. This is a mysterious saying since how can one love someone before that person exists? Yet for God, whose essence is existence, even this is possible. For since God is outside of time, He sees all in the present, so that the past and the future converge in the “now”.
We do not write these words so as to cause confusion. We write them to rejoice that the Lord is so mysterious and so far above us that even the word “far” cannot suffice to describe the distance. Yet, in his love God has forever bridged this distance by incarnating his divine Son with a human nature (i.e. in human flesh). The Incarnation, not some esoteric dream, but that particular act of Jesus being conceived in the womb of Mary, brought God to not only dwell on the earth, but to dwell among man forever. This is a blessing beyond all human comprehension in that it was achieved to save us from our corruption. All that we can do in its wake is to bow low and humbly before the divine favor.
In order to encapsulate this glorious thought for this 5th Sunday in Easter, we place on our bulletin cover a work by the great Venetian master, Titian, entitled Salvator Mundi (1570). The English translation of this title is “Savior of the World”, and its simple imagery is packed with profound symbolism. First, God can now be portrayed in human form because He has become man. Next, the world is made anew by the Holy Cross which is shown rising above the earth toward heaven. Third, Christ is shown blessing the world by the second of God’s divine blessings. The first blessing is creation which was corrupted by the sin of man; the second now comes as salvation, the making of “all things new” in the sinless and obedient human nature of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
We should think of this painting as an earlier instinctive rendering of the Divine Mercy long before the gracious depiction of Jesus, received and presented by St. Faustina; for salvation comes to the world as the merciful blessing of God.
–Steve Guillotte, Director of Pastoral Services