Images Of God

14th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: July 7, 2019

What is your image of God?  When you think of God, what image comes to mind?  Whether we realize it or not, we are influenced by various images of God.  These images are found in our language, in our prayers, in our ways of praying.  A healthy spirituality requires that we reflect on the images that we hold on to for God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear that any image or concept of God that we have is always far more different from the reality of God than it is similar to the reality of God.  Our human words always fall short of the mystery of God.  God is mystery, beyond anything that we see and know in created reality.

But we do need images to lead us toward that mystery of God.  In Jesus, we have the presence of God in human form.  So, we can refer to Jesus as the face of God.  As we come to know Jesus we are coming to know God.

In our Trinitarian Christian vision of God, we turn to God as Father.  When we use this image of Father for God, we are not saying that God is male, for God is neither male nor female.  God is beyond this human construct.   God as Father is focused on the relationship in that inner life of God.

Today, in our First Reading from the Prophet Isaiah, we were given another image of God.  God as a mother comforting her child.  Isaiah has God speaking to us, “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.”  When we turn to God we are able to imagine God as a loving mother comforting us in a difficult time.

It is no wonder that Isaiah that finishes by calling the People of God to “Rejoice and be glad.”  With such a God we should rejoice and be glad.

This image of God as a mother comforting her child is helpful as we celebrate the Sacraments.  In the Sacraments such as this Eucharist, we are being held by God as a loving mother. In our prayer, when we sit quietly and alone with God, we can imagine ourselves being held in the arms of a loving mother.

In Luke’s Gospel we see Jesus sending his disciples out on a mission.  We too are sent out on a mission to proclaim the Good News, to help all people to know Jesus, to come to know the God that Jesus reveals.  We are sent out to joyfully proclaim the God revealed in Jesus.  It is important for us to reflect on the images of God that we have, since we will be sharing that image of God with others.

Today, through the Prophet Isaiah we are offered the image of God as a loving mother comforting her child.  Hear this God speaking to your heart as you go out from here today.

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