Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Begotten before all the ages

One of the phrases changed in the new English translation of the mass is "eternally begotten of the father." The aforementioned new translation is not only closer to the Latin but actually conveys the idea more clearly. It is not that he was eternally begotten since we know that begetting is a rather instantaneous process, but the point is that the second person of the trinity existed always.

Without thinking about we can fall into the mindset that Jesus came into being at the annunciation or the nativity. This is simply not our faith. He became incarnate at the annunciation, and was born at the nativity, but he was begotten before all the ages. Through him all things were made.

Today's famous first reading of the three young men in the fiery furnace, an example. In the furnace, the king sees a fourth that "looks like a son of God." Certainly scripture scholars will debate this as the debate the connection between the trinity and the three "visitors" that Abraham hosted, but for me, the signs of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son are clear in Old Testament as well as the new. And perhaps just as important the signs of their presence are clear in our world today, if we but have the eyes to see.