In the Responsorial Psalm we say, “Let us see your face, Lord.” I have lately been getting a better idea of what we might see when we look upon God.
Without a car I have been walking good distances, and as I walk I have been chewing over the First Chapter of John’s Gospel. He wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God. All things were made through him.”
Thomas Aquinas explained how the Word could both be with God and be God. He used the Letter to the Hebrews that says the Son was “the imprint of the Father’s being;” and the letter to the Colossians that says the Son is “The image of the invisible God.”
From that Aquinas theorized that in the vast stretch of eternity when there was nothing but himself God formed a perfect mental picture of himself. Finding that mirror image entirely satisfying, he stayed with it. And that Son, his brainchild, partook of the substance of God.
The Father loved the Son, and the Son loved the Father. As St. John tells us, “God is love.”
Aquinas then theorized that the Father, looking at the Son saw all the elements that he would then incorporate into creation. In my walks through our neighborhoods I have been thinking about this. I have been picturing the Father using the Son as the model for all he created.
Then, wearying of all this high theological theorizing, I looked up at the blue sky, at the clouds, and the trees like filigree against the sky. I began thinking of how I loved our world so much I didn’t want to leave it.But then my thoughts returned to “all things were made through him.” With that it came to me that God, being all good, wanted to share his beauty with us. These wonders of nature are just cheap copies of the wild beauty of the Son. It came to me that when we see the face of God we will no long lament over the loss of earthly joys. Like Francis Thompson we will say, “All these you took from me not for my harms, but that I might find them again in your arms.”