Day 328 – Divinization and the Beatific Vision

Today’s reading: 1 John 3

In today’s reading John hints at what we will be like after the resurrection.

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.  1 John 3:1-3

So we “will be like him” [Jesus].  Think about that.  That has multiple and enormous implications.  Primarily, it means that we will know the Father as Jesus knows the Father.  How does Jesus know the Father?  Perfectly and Jesus is the word made flesh and thus nature is a result of his perfect knowledge of the Father.  Therefore, when we see the Father as he is our nature will be elevated and we will become more Christ-like in our nature.  This is called “divinization”.  As always, whenever we discuss divinization, it is important to remember that we do not become gods.  There is and can be only one god.  Divinization is the reality that our nature will be changed as God becomes more fully present in our souls. The best metaphor for this that I have heard is like iron placed in a furnace.  The fire “goes into” the iron and it is transformed into steel.  The iron does not become the fire but its nature is changed by its close contact with the fire.

Seeing the Father as he is, is called the Beatific Vision.  It implies more than just a visual experience.  Rather, it means to know the Father as he is as in when we say, “I see what you mean”.  So we will know the Father and will see the universe, indeed all of creation, as the Father sees and knows it.

Tomorrow: 1 John 4

 

 

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