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. (1 John 3:2)
Saint John speaks to us as a friend, “writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4). He reminds us of the deepest reality of who we are. “We are God's children—to which he adds “now”. Right now. At this moment. And, he declares this unconditionally, to remind us that this is true no matter what: no matter what we may feeling or not feeling, no matter what difficulty or incredible joy has befallen us. We are God’s children now and no matter what because we are so by God’s gracious doing. Such “divine filiation” (“the deepest mystery of the Christian vocation”, as Pope John Paul II says) is sheer gift. And, “the gifts of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). In other words, we will never cease to be God’s children. We never need worry.
Saint John also reaffirms the certain promise of our future final—albeit mysterious—transformation: “When he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is”. “We will see him as he is”—upon our deathbed or atthe Second Coming of Christ. And, when we finally see God, we will be fully transformed. We traditionally speak of such immediate vision as “beatific” (from the Latinbeatificus, meaning “making happy”). Our God is a supremely happy God, and His only intention is to make us happy in Him. The happiness begins now and no matter what—increasingly to the degree that we let go and let God. One day, one eternity, this happiness will be complete. Indeed, our hope is set on this.
Sharing in God’s happiness with you,
servant in our Lord