The Church teaches that . . . The revelation of the ineffable name “I Am who Am” contains then the truth that God alone is. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and following the Church’s Tradition, understood the divine name in this sense: God is the fullness of Being and every perfection, without origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he is. Catechism (203, p58)
There is only One God, and he was unknown before the Ape to Man, Brain to Mind transformation.
After that momentous event, proto-man, having received the gifts of self consciousness, reason and true freedom started putting two and two together and recognized that what they “understood” was the awesome presence of God everywhere, as they struggled with survival from a brutish earlier nature. Life now had meaning as a reflection of God in themselves. Anthropology continuously verifies this view.
The God, of whom early humanity had an awareness, was multiplied into many and various forms by the imagination of men and women and worshiped; or I should say was idolized with a myriad of physical forms as one god or another.
Not until the revelations to Abraham was the One God, outside of philosophy and idolatry, heard and worshiped. Abraham became the father in faith of the three great monotheistic religions, starting with the Hebrews.
It was Abraham’s understanding of monotheism and his unflinching faith in the unseen, living God, his God, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob that “salvation” came through Israel and the Jews – to the whole world.
To those, through the grace of God, who see the need and meaning in salvation, this fact is most evident especially in these “post modern”, serendipitous times.
When God revealed to Moses that it was he who was to be the instrument leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, he announced himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. With a certain audacity, Moses asked him his name. The answer was revealed:
“I am who I am”…”This is my name forever, this is my memorial for all generations”. This is what Moses understood.
I am who I am, I am that I am or I-shall-be that I-shall-be, probably the most well known verse of the Torah, is not too unlike the concept early man had about the Divine, a ubiquitous all powerful Creator Spirit far beyond human comprehension, the hidden God who put everything in motion. Who is known in every individual, and by himself, the uncreated, infinite, Creator God not dependent or contingent, therefore, “I am who I am.”
From the time of Abraham this was the mysteriously “known” God who reveled himself by speaking to men interiorly and who seemed to be in absolute control of all things natural.
Determinists, those whose god is “man” or created by men, are not able to re-cognize or reasonably get around their particulate horizon.
Explaining the Cosmos by “chance”, regardless of the principle of uncertainty for one thing, surely flies in the face of today’s “relational quantum mechanics”.
The atheist’s mindset is not truly free and the agnostic’s, unwilling to delve. Spirituality has no relevance by choice. Suggestions of the “heart” are generally thought to be strictly emotional phenomena. This is, in a way, the prelapsarian condition, intellectual darkness; a world where meaning, beauty, truth and love are not exchanged in the reality of Spirit. Only innocence and ignorance is bliss.
For many, trapped by a lack of hope while held in the grasp of disintegration, life is not a promise – but a fallacy, and they are satisfied to call that fallacy reality. I Am Who I Am is the ground of all being and meaning; the center of all critical reality. The fullness of Being and every perfection, without origin and without end.
If we have been graced to understand this at this point in time, it becomes clear that the God whom Jesus called Father, who was in him, and he in the Father, is the same universal God and “Creator of all things visible and invisible”.
The Incarnation, the major event of salvation history allowed mankind to meet Truth as a person, to correspond with God’s plan; the establishment of “The Kingdom of God” both on earth and beyond.
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was mankind’s final rejection of both Man and God. “Ecce Homo.” We all died with Christ! But with his resurrection, death was conquered and the promises of “I AM” were delivered. The “new Jerusalem” was explained and became available to all who through baptism and faith in Christ and his Commandments, are saved. Finally, an explanation of salvation is made clear beyond the social and political restoration of Israel.
“I AM the good shepherd, I know mine and mine know me.”
Critical reality, as the word (critical) explains is an almost and not yet.
The woman from Samaria, Sychar, at Jacob’s well was given the option to believe and understand when Jesus said to her:
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him “I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called the Christ); when that One comes, he will declare all things to us.”
Jesus said to her, I who speak to you AM he.’
Feast of the Ascension, 2011