Do catholics believe Jesus was alive before his birth I was listening to Trent horn and got confused. As well as are jesus,the father,and the holy spirit all equal in power because they are one but how can they be three Distinct beings sorry if this is at all heretical I’m just very confused.
No. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, existed before all ages. But at a point in time, he became incarnate and took on a full and complete human nature in the created humanity of Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man. So there was never a point that the Son did not exist, but there was a point in time where he took on human nature.
From the Nicene creed (325AD), amended at the council of Constantinople (381AD):
…I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
What about whether or not they are all equal in their divinity or power like is there a hierarchy?
The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. All are equally God, three Divine persons. One Divine substance. All three are God, but there are not three gods but one God.
The Athanasian Creed (4th century) puts it this way:
…And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost…
Jesus always existed since the beginning of time. We as humans can’t really understand how but the Gospel of John gives us a good glimpse at it. This is the very beginning of the Gospel of John:
”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” - John 1:1-4
I would read all of the first chapter of the Gospel of John (only a couple of pages) but it shows you who Jesus is and always was. Jesus is the Word which always existed and is God.
At the very end of the traditional Latin mass, they end the mass with “the Last Gospel” which is reading this verse that I copied above for you. Shows how important it is as a center piece of our faith. I would take about 10 minutes or so and read the entirety of the first chapter of the Gospel of John and just reflect on it and let it grow in you.
I think the best thing to do in these cases is to meditate on the Nicene Creed that we say every Sunday. Don’t just say it fast, but think about what you are saying when you say the Creed.
The Father is the source or “fount” of divinity and the Son and the Holy Spirit are from the Father eternally.
248 At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father’s character as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he “who proceeds from the Father”, it affirms that he comes from the Father through the Son.77 The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son ( filioque ). It says this, “legitimately and with good reason”,78 for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as “the principle without principle”,79 is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds.80 This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.
Was that a change?
If all three are equally God, why does only the Father know the day or the hour ?
No, the ancient creeds are very clear that in the Incarnation, God remains unchanged. I seem to recall a line from the Byzantine Liturgy that speaks of how “without change you became man” in reference to the Son.
The day or the hour of what? If you’re going to ask questions, please ask them thoroughly and be specific with regards to quotations.
That said, how does the statement that only the Father knows the day or the hour of the return of the Son somehow negate that the other persons of the Trinity are equally God?
Haydock Commentary, Matthew 24:36:
Ver. 36. No man knoweth . . . but the Father alone. The words in S. Mark (xiii. 32.) are still harder: neither the angels, nor the Son, but the Father. The Arians objected this place, to shew that Christ being ignorant of the day of judgment, could not be truly God. By the same words, no one knoweth, but the Father alone, (as they expound them) the Holy Ghost must be excluded from being the true God.
In answer to this difficulty, when it is said, but the Father alone, it is certain that the eternal Son and the Holy Ghost could never be ignorant of the day of judgment: because, as they are one and the same God, so they must hove one and the same nature, the same substance, wisdom, knowledge, and all absolute perfections.
2. It is also certain that Jesus Christ knew the day of judgment, and all things to come, by a knowledge which he could not but have, because of the union by which his human nature was united to the divine person and nature. See Colos. ii. 3. And so to attribute any ignorance to Christ, was the error of those heretics called Agnoitai.
3. But though Christ, as a man, knew the day of judgment, yet this knowledge was not due to him as he was man, or because he was man, but he only knew the day of judgment, because he was God as well as man.
4. It is the common answer of the fathers, that Christ here speaks to his disciples, only as he was the ambassador of his Father; and so he is only to know what he is to make known to men. He is said not to know, says S. Aug., what he will not make others know, or what he will not reveal to them. Wi.
— By this Jesus Christ wished to suppress the curiosity of his disciples. In the same manner after his resurrection, he answered the same question: 'Tis not for you to know the times and the moments, which the Father has placed in his own power. This last clause is added, that the apostles might not be discouraged and think their divine Master esteemed them unworthy of knowing these things. Some Greek MSS. add nor even the Son, as in Mark xiii. 32. The Son is ignorant of it, not according to his divinity, nor even according to his humanity hypostatically united to his divinity, but according to his humanity, considered as separate from his divinity. V.
 V. 36. S. Aug. l. 83. QQ. quæst. 60. tom. 6, p. 33. Ed. Ben. dicitur nescire filius, quia facit nescire homines, i.e. non prodit eis, quod inutiliter scirent. See the same S. Aug. l. 1. de Trin. c. xii. tom. 8, p. 764 and 765. and lib. de Gen. cont. Manich. c. xxii. p. 659. tom. 1.
I should say, be complete when you quote something.
Jesus says that only the Father knows the day or the hour.
But Mr. Haydock says that it is not true that only the Father knows the day or the hour.
Should I believe Jesus or should I believe Mr. Haydock?
The commentary states:
It is the common answer of the fathers, that Christ here speaks to his disciples, only as he was the ambassador of his Father; and so he is only to know what he is to make known to men. He is said not to know, says S. Aug., what he will not make others know, or what he will not reveal to them.
Though Jesus was equal to God, out of perfect humility, he deffered to his Father’s will to withhold the date of his second coming.
Love, perfect relationality is the unity of being that is the Trinity, where the Father begets the Son, who returns all that He is to the Father, in the Holy Spirit, proceeding from both. There is one God, who is three Divine persons in eternal communion. The Son does the Father’s will which is to love.
It is the form of this fallen world that is a hierarchy of power. But as Jesus proclaimed, the greatest is the servant; that is the nature of love which lies at the Foundation of all being.
I would think that Jesus as one member of a relational wholeness, chose not to know what the Father did not want to have revealed to us. What is important for us to know would be that when we see the signs that all is collapsing around us, that it heralds a new life in the spirit.