|The Lower Church at the Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth|
|"Lake of Gennesaret" by Nicholas Roerich, via WikiArt|
The New Testament scriptures include the identity and life and mission of Jesus and the identity and life and mission of His early followers and friends. They are historical in their truthfulness and faithfulness to the realities they express, not necessarily in details of the time and place of each event. They involve accounts of Jesus and His early followers, letters of some of their leaders, and the promise of their future and present. Jesus and His followers accepted the Jewish scriptures that are accounts of the creation of the universe and the human family, of our sin early on and the promise of our redemption, of the formation and development of the people of Israel, the promise of their prophets, the guidance of their sages.
|The Garden Tomb, photographed by Phillip Benshmuel, via Wikimedia Commons|
The teaching of Vatican II on revelation is preceded by that of Vatican I, Dei Filius, "The Son of God." As John Paul II explains in his encyclical Fides et ratio, "Faith and Reason," revelation is viewed in Vatican I in its nature of transforming gift and in Vatican II in its role for our salvation. St. Thomas reflects on the act of faith inwardly as involving credere Deo, credere Deum, credere in Deum (II-II, q. 2, a. 2): believing God revealing, believing God revealed, believing in God revealed. To believe means to trust God revealing to us, to believe what He reveals to us, to live our trust and beliefs with love and justice and chastity. We trust and believe and live in God our Father and in His Child Our Jesus and in His Holy Breath. This is our outward confession and profession of faith in the Apostles Creed, in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed that we pray and sing often liturgically. This is our story and song. This is the meaning and goal of our life and history. As Their family of friends, we make ours the attitude of the Family of Friends that is our merciful Father and His Child our Jesus of Mary and Joseph and His Holy Breath, our Lover and His beloved Word our Jesus and His Love.