Here’s a question for you: What does “Revelation” mean?
Yes, Revelation is the name of the last book of the Bible, that confusing and mysterious book that few people understand. But I mean in a more general sense. Revelation means that something is revealed; something is made known; some bit of information is communicated from one person to another.
As Catholic Christians, we believe in what is called “revealed religion.” The dictionary defines this as: “Religion based on the revelation by God to humankind of ideas that would not have been arrived at by natural reason alone.”
We believe that God revealed Himself to Adam and Eve; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses and David and all the prophets. We believe God inspired the authors of the Bible. Most of all, we believe God revealed Himself to us most fully in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
If God had been completely silent and never bothered to communicate with human beings, we never would have come up with Judeo-Christian beliefs on our own. Nowadays, a lot of people have drifted away from the “faith of their fathers.” And for many, the primary reason they’ve drifted away is because they no longer believe in revelation. They believe that God has never communicated with us, and therefore all religions, by definition, were invented by human beings alone.
If this is true, then the obvious question is: why should I follow a particular religion—even if my ancestors sincerely believed it—if is was just made up long ago by human beings? And the obvious answer to this question is: there is no reason why you should believe it. If all religions are merely man-made, and God did not tell humanity what He really wants from us, then everybody is on their own to figure out what works best for him or her.
Based on the way many people are living their lives these days, what works best seems to be a combination of sleeping late on Sundays, never attending church, and going through life with a rather self-centered attitude.
But if you really think about it, a silent God makes no sense. Let’s review what we know for sure: God created mankind, and He created mankind with distinct personalities and with the ability to communicate. (And if you’ve ever stood in line at Dunkin Donuts behind a group of high school girls, you’d say the compulsion to communicate.)
We know by logic and reason that the created being cannot be greater than its Creator. In other words, if we humans have the ability to think and to use words, then it’s impossible for our Creator not to have these same abilities. So, we can reasonably deduce that God has a personality and He has the ability to communicate.
Now, here’s the question we have to ask: What are the odds that God, after going to all the trouble of creating beings with the ability to communicate—the same ability He possesses—would then choose NOT to communicate with these creatures?
To quote Mr. Spock, “It is simply illogical, Captain.”
So, the claim that God has never revealed Himself to humankind actually has a gaping hole in its logic.
The only thing that makes sense it that the God of all Creation, who made the heavens and the earth, did NOT create human beings and then go off on a permanent vacation. He made us because of His love, and He loves us too much to abandon us.
This is revelation. God has revealed who He is. He has revealed who we are. And He has revealed what He wants from us. And what He wants is very simple: He wants our love. He wants us to trust in Him and be filled with His spirit of joy.
The best way to do this is to get out of bed on Sunday mornings, go to church, and think about the needs of others once in a while rather than yourself.
Revelation is actually very simple, and it is very logical. Please don’t fall for the popular notion that God is silent. People who are in love talk to each other all the time. And God is in love with us.