God reveals himself to humanity not only as Creator and Almighty Ruler (Pantocrator) of the world but also as Father and Saviour of his people. The history of humankind is a sacred history inasmuch as God himself appears and acts within it.
God realizes his plan of salvation within history by deeds and words, which have an inner unity. Tie deeds wrought by God manifest and confirm the teaching expressed through his words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them. The fullness of truth about God and the salvation of humanity are made clear to us in Christ, who simultaneously is the mediator and the fillness of all Revelation.
God revealed to Adam and Eve, and through them to all humankind, their vocation to continue the work of creation: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gn 1:28). When our first parents fell away from God because of their sin, God did not abandon humankind but promised to send a Saviour:”… he [the offspring of the woman, Jesus Christ] will strike your [the serpent’s] head” (Gn 3:15).
- Book Launch of Christ – Our Pascha: An English Translation of THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC CATECHISM
- Ukrainian Catholics to receive first catechism in more than 500 years
- The Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church
Even having lost true knowledge of God because of the fall, a human being does not stop seeking the One who is the origin of all things. Speaking about this search to the inhabitants of Athens, the holy apostle Paul said:
Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands (Acts 17:22-24).
As the “image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), Christ brings the fullness of Revelation. Christ, true God and true man, also reveals in himself the image of a perfect human being.
Among those who “search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him” (Acts 17:27), God reveals himself to Abraham, calling him to become the father of all believers, he grants him the promise of offspring and land. God confirms this promise by giving Abraham a son, Isaac, and to him—Jacob. And so, appearing to Moses in the burning bush in order to call him to lead his people out of Egypt, the house of slavery, the God-Who-ls reveals himself as “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Ex 3:15), “the God of our ancestors” (Dt 26:7). By leading the Israelites across the Red Sea, by giving them his commandments on Mount Sinai, and by leading them into the Promised Land, God shows that he not only enters into the history of his people; he also calls them to the fullness of life in him: “And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Lv 26:12). To David, who wished to build a house for God, a temple, God promises that he himself will build him a “house.” He will bring forth from his loins an offspring, the Christ, and his kingdom shall have no end (see 2 Sm 7:11-16). Church sees this promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ: “And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:32-33).
In her worship life, the Church unites the calendar year with the liturgical year—historical time with the sacred time of salvation.
In the New Testament, the fullness of Revelation is attained in the Only-Begotten Son, who from all eternity is within the bosom of the Father and reveals the Father (see Jn 1:18). Jesus himself emphasizes: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). Jesus thus confirms that he and the Father are one (see Jn 10:30). As the “image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), Christ brings the fullness of Revelation. Christ, true God and true man, also reveals in himself the image of a perfect human being.
The Church believes that there is only one unique Revelation of God to humankind, the fullness of which was brought to us and given by Jesus Christ, so that no other Revelation exists. 19 God’s Revelation continues to be transmitted by the Church, the Body of Christ, that we may continue to grow in faith and knowledge of God.
In her worship life, the Church unites the calendar year with the liturgical year—historical time with the sacred time of salvation. In liturgical celebration, the historical events of the earthly life of the Saviour become for us saving mysteries. In this way, God continues to act in history, until its final consummation in the second coming of Jesus Christ. While in the Old Testament, God revealed himself to chosen individuals—the patriarchs, prophets, and kings—in the New Testament, all the members of Christ’s Church receive his Revelation.
The 347-page paperback English edition of Christ Our Pascha is available from the Mustard Seed Bookshop for $32.95 + postage and handling.