Monday, October 10, 2016

The Eternal Shore

Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis have said, in so many words and in their own unique style, that the problem is not that God has not fully revealed himself to man but rather that He has revealed too much and it is too difficult for us to comprehend. It is difficult to understand how the Creator could be held by His creation. It is difficult to reckon how God could take on human suffering even until death, death on the cross. Is this God really all-powerful, all-knowing, all-everything as the catechisms tell us?

The problem is not so much the fact that God isn't all that and more, but rather that He doesn't fit our mold. He refuses to be boxed in. His ways are not our ways. Thank God!

I often think back to times in my faith walk where I asked God for a sign. I asked Him for silly things and serious things. I asked because I was lost and needed direction. Often He answered me clearly and without delay. Other times it seemed as though He didn't hear a word I uttered. As I look back now, it is those times of silence on His part that I cherish. I cherish them because I realize He did not answer my request because He had something far better planned. Yes, the silence was difficult at the time, but it has trained me to be more trusting, more patient, and more faithful.

In today's Gospel the people are pressing Jesus for some sort of a sign. They want proof that He is who they think He is. They want something that will remove all doubt. They want more bread, more healings, levitations, shows of power or something of the like. To this request Jesus says no, at least He won't give them the silly signs they desire but the ultimate sign of His divinity, the Resurrection. Like Jonah of old who was spewed upon the shore after three days in the belly of the whale, Jesus will spend three days in the belly of the earth and be spewed upon the shores of eternity.  We will too and His resurrection is the only sign we need.

TAKE TWO

The crowd presses on
they seek a sign
is this the one who is to come?
Show us a power
give us some bread
and we'll follow when it's done.

There'll be no sign
of such simple things
no magic lies in store.
A far greater sign
will be given to you
like the one spewed upon the shore.

The Queen of the South
and the Ninevite men
will condemn you on that day
far greater than Solomon
far greater than Jonah
is the one you cast away.


This book is not a easy read but well worth the time and effort.  Pope Benedict XVI illustrates and answers that nagging question that even the most staunch atheist has echoing in the back of his mind, "but what if this is true."  I would highly recommend reading this with a friend or group where you can compare notes and share ideas and thoughts.
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