Surely, the brief but intense definition that the 1st Letter of Saint John gives us of God, “God is love” (1Jn 4,7), receives the greater consensus than a definition of God can receive. Of course it is not easy to define God. To tell the truth, it seems rather indefinable, insofar as it is unfathomable to us. Thus, the only thing left is to try to make an approximation. And, of course, the one in the 1 Letter of Saint John is magnificent.
But I think it is worth noting one aspect that can lead us to error. The approach we are talking about is not referred to a human act of effort and merit. There may be some of that. But what really has significance is that it is God who has revealed himself to us, who has revealed himself as “Love” .
That is to say, what we know is not because we are magnificent researchers but because God has revealed himself and manifested Love in our lives, in our hearts. And he has also enlightened our minds. In a more complete way, we can say that God has wanted to have a relationship with us that means a deep experience that encompasses the mind, the heart, the whole life.
This experience is not a dream or an idea, it is not magic or ideology. The deep experience of the Love of God has a name, face and eyes, a concrete moment in history, gestures and attitudes, generous giving and immense love. The deep experience of God’s Love is Jesus Christ: his life, his message, his actions and, above all, the coherent and generous giving of his life, his death on the Cross. H4>
The death of Jesus on the Cross speaks of God-Love. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.” em> (Jn 3:16) h4>
The Incarnation of the Son, his life, his passion and death (and resurrection) only have meaning from God-Love. God in his Son gives his life for us (cf. 1Jn 3,16) h4>
We must look back and remember the episode in Genesis in which Abraham believes that he must offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Sadly, we have put excessively at the center of the story the image of Abraham ready to kill his son. And yet, what is more revealing is that the Angel of God prevents this from happening because God is the God of Life, the God-Love.
And even more revealing is the image of the Lamb occupying the sacrificial place of Isaac to serve as a prefiguration of Jesus, the Lamb who is the new victim (cf. 1 Jn 2,2: 4,10). h4>
A very interesting topic is that of false images of God. They are distortions or even manipulations that as soon as we get in tune with the Good News they will squeak. Well, far from staying with that negative part of the false images of God, it will not be enough to say how God is not, but rather that in the person and message of Jesus of Nazareth we can find how God is.