SORRY that I didn't get last week's homily to you, but here we continue with our series...
AUDIO: CLICK HERE! (9:30am Mass)
Saint Paul’s section on Judaism and the Church concludes today with this great praise of God’s wisdom, a wisdom that is greater than our own and in a real sense quite beyond us. Saint Paul’s attempts to explain the way that God’s providence has worked only reveals the great surprises of God. There is always some new twist that we didn’t see coming, and this is true more than ever with the great “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ. Who would have guessed God would save the world by dying as a criminal? How could powerlessness and humility overcome humanity’s vain flaunt of strength and pride? How would death be destroyed by death? That is the mystery that Paul praises today.
Perhaps no one knows each other better that an old married couple. The book I’ve been reading in August, until school got into full-speed and has made it difficult to finish, has revolved around a simple marriage and family. The husband and wife (Stephen and came from pretty different backgrounds, and the reality is that they are often mysteries to each other. Perhaps another way to say it is “they are inscrutable” and “unsearchable.” This is only compounded by the fact that Stephen is very quiet, wrestling with a dark past, and Anne seems to spend years trying to force him to open up, to no avail. However, this is not the norm. I heard story from a priest recently about a married couple he knew. The wife prepared dinner and said “when my husband comes home the first thing he’s going to say is ‘brussel sprouts: barf!’” And what do you know, he fit the bill and did exactly as expected soon after I arrived. But even when people do open up, the reality is we are still mysteries to each other. We are even mysteries to ourselves at times. We might catch ourselves saying: “why did I do that?” or “What was I thinking?” We may have changed so much from an earlier age that we consider ourselves a totally different person. Perhaps the teenage son is right after all when he gives that shrugging, mumbled response: “I dunno.”
The point of all this simple: if I’m a mystery to myself sometimes, and other persons are mysteries to me a lot of the time, how much more will God be a mystery to me – all the time! But the fact is, mystery is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. It keeps us engaged, diving deeper, seeking more and more.
Stephen tells his wife Anne that this is exactly how life should be, how marriage should be. It may be scary for us at times to know that we don’t have a full grasp on things, but that is how persons work: they are free, they have an infinite depth to them, and we can only ponder them through a relationship. Jesus invites us like Peter into a relationship today, to discover more and more about him. Peter confesses something he knows about Jesus, but doesn’t have it all figured out. Paul, after years of prayer, knows Jesus even more intimately, and yet he is still “inscrutable and unsearchable”.
Don’t let the fear and confusion and messiness of God’s mystery cloud you from a relationship with him. Get out of your boat and go to him.