Our readings present us with God as he was understood in Old Testament times and as we have come to understand him.
Moses was told that the ground near God’s presence was holy. The Hebrew there that we translate as holy was qodes, a word which originally meant “aloof” or separated from us in every way.
There is a lot to that. God is separate from us in every way. God always was and always will be, while Catholic philosophers refer to us as contingent beings, as beings with no real hold on their existence.
Once while the Venerable Bede was preaching, a bird flew in from a window on his right, and a second later it flew out through a window on his left. Bede then said, “Our lives are like that. Without knowing where we came from, we are here for a moment, and then we are gone, leaving no trace.”
In New Testament times we are still contingent creatures, but Jesus has made us children of a Father who welcomes us to snuggle in his lap, and to live on there.
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