When God's name is mentioned in the prayers of Mass, the plural have (instead of has) is used. Why?
The grammatical answer is that the word “God” in these prayers is in the vocative case, rather than being the subject of the verb “have.” The actual subject of the verb in these prayers is either “who” or “you” as in, “O God, who....” or “O God, you...”
Your question implies that the verb “have” is only a plural verb. It is not. It can also be the first and second person singular (e.g. I have, you have). Thus, the sentence “O God, you have every perfection” requires the second person singular form of the verb. The form “has” would not work.
The difficultly to our ears is that the formal address “O God who....” is rare in English today. Normally “who” is a third person singular as in “Who has it?” But we can also use “who” in the second person singular if we supply a vocative, as in, “It is you, who have the answer.” And this is what we do in the prayers. We supply the vocative “O God.” Thus the verb must be “have.”
I don't understand how mere humans are supposed to forgive everyone everything but we are taught that God/Jesus only forgives us if we are repentant. How are we supposed to be more forgiving than He is?
I am not sure where you learned that the Lord Jesus only forgives if we are repentant. This is quite contrary to what he did at the Cross. With the exception of John, Mother Mary and several other women, we collectively mocked him, scorned him and thought nothing of his sufferings. Yet, in our most unrepentant moment he said, “Father forgive them.”
Scripture also says, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us....when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son.... (Rom 5:7,9-10).
Perhaps you have in mind the judgment we will face. And many do think of our Last Judgment as God withholding forgiveness. However, the Lord makes it clear As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. (Ez 33:11). It also says God wants all to be saved... (1 Tim 2:4).
Thus our Last Judgment is not about God’s desire to condemn, or his refusal to forgive. Rather, the judgment in question is more about our final answer to the invitation of God to receive his offered mercy and accept the values of his kingdom. There are some who mysteriously reject the Kingdom and its values, who refuse the offered mercy of God or their need for it. Without pleasure, God accepts the final and lasting choice of some to dwell apart from him.
For us, forgiveness should not be seen so much as an imposed obligation, but as a gift to seek and receive from God. Forgiveness does not always mean we can go on in close relationships with people who may cause us great harm. It does not always mean that there should be no consequences for sin. Rather, forgiveness is letting go of the need to change the past. It is a gift from God that helps us to put down the weight of anger, resentment and the desire for revenge that can consume and destroy us. Forgiveness is for us, not against us.
If God made us to know him, love him and serve him, why did he make some of us who will never be able to do this because they do not have all their faculties?
Your question seems to define "knowing" in merely intellectual terms. Yet knowing, in terms of faith, is something richer than a mere intellectual grasping of God.
Further, we cannot know fully the inner life of the mentally disabled. The same can be said for infants and very young children. I have a small memory of my very early childhood when I was perhaps five years old and that memory is of great intimacy with God, who spoke to me simply and with love, and I to Him. As I grew older, and my brain grew "bigger" my heart also seemed to diminish and I lost that experience of intimacy with God. I have spent these, my later years, trying to recover that early intimacy.
I do not offer this memory as proof that little children, or, by analogy, the mentally disabled, all have this intimacy, but only to indicate that there are mysteries in how God relates to us that cannot be simply reduced to high intellectual knowing.
It would seem rather that God relates to us in ways appropriate to our state. It would also seem we should at least be open to the possibility that the mentally disabled may have an even greater intimacy with God than we of "able mind" can only admire as we seek to become more "like little children, so as to enter the Kingdom of God" (cf Mark 10:15).
I was taught that the persons of the Trinity are all equal. But Jesus says that the Father is greater than him. Is this so?
The three persons of the Trinity are all equal. Regarding their equality and oneness, the preface of the Holy Trinity says of our Triune God: In the confession of the true and eternal Godhead there is adored a distinctness of persons, a oneness in essence, and an equality in majesty.
So what does it mean when the same Jesus who said, "The Father and I are One" (Jn 10:30), also says, "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28)?
Theologically it means that the Father is the source in the Trinity. All the members are co-eternal, co-equal, equally divine, but the Father is the Principium Deitatis (the Principle of the Deity). Jesus proceeds from the Father from all eternity. In effect Jesus is saying, "I delight that the Father is the principle of my being, even though I have no origin."
Devotionally, Jesus is saying I always do what pleases my Father. Jesus loves his Father, is crazy about him, is always talking about him and pointing to him. In effect he says, by calling the Father greater, "I look to my Father for everything and I do what I see him doing (Jn 5:19) and what I know pleases him (Jn 5:30). His will and mine are one, and what I will to do proceeds from him and I do what I know accords with his will, whom I love."
It says in Luke, that Jesus was subject to his Father and Mother, Joseph and Mary. Were they superior to him? No. And neither is Jesus less than equal to His Father by looking to him for everything and being of one will with Him.
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