An inexhaustible circularity
A short anecdote handed down by the Chassidic tradition narrates that “one day a young disciple approached his teacher and asked: ‘How is it that in ancient times God often appeared to our fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and so many others? Today, instead, nobody sees Him anymore.’ The old rabbi pondered for a long time, then answered: ‘Because we no longer know how to stoop low enough’.”
This story lends itself to multiple interpretations, but among all the possible explanations, it is good to recall the need to approach God by looking “from below.” To discover the face of God, to have access to God’s revelation, we must stoop to the earth and seek him in the midst of the people, because he “came to dwell among us” (John 1:14). Reading Sacred Scripture “from below” means lowering oneself to the human level, descending into the abyssal depths of our limitations. As the psalmist says: “For the human mind and heart are an abyss!” (Ps 64:7).
The Bible testifies that human history is the place where God has chosen to make himself visible and knowable through his action on behalf of humanity. For this reason he reveals himself as the God of someone: of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, of all the people of Israel and, finally, “in the fullness of time” (Heb 9:26), of Jesus Christ.