In the Gospel reading this Sunday Peter says that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. This statement of faith has come down to us through the ages as a key expression of who we believe Jesus to be. And yet the mystery of Christ as the Son of God is richer and deeper than this statement. Peter himself would go through a lot to truly appreciate who Jesus is.
In the second reading today from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans we are given Paul’s appreciation of the awesome mystery of God: “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways. For who has known the mind of God or who has been his counsellor? Or who has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid?”
A mystery in terms of God is different than a mystery in terms of a novel or a movie. In the latter we try to solve the mystery: “who dun it? If we are really clever we pick up the clues early on. But mystery in terms of God never arrives at comprehension. God is not a puzzle to be solved. Rather God is greater than anything we can think about God and God is greater than anything we can feel about God. We are tempted to reduce God to an insight or a feeling. And then we want to return to the good old days when we had an experience of God that was powerful and memorable. But we cannot reduce God to that moment. That moment can nourish us in the present moment but it cannot be repeated. “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. How inscrutable His judgments and how unsearchable His ways?”
God is not a puzzle to be solved. Rather God is greater than anything we can think about God and God is greater than anything we can feel about God.
We stand in awe before the mystery and the majesty of God. As we come toward the end of summer, why not take some time to stand in awe before the mystery and the majesty of God? Watch the sun rise or the sun set. Read the Word of God and talk to Christ about what He is saying. Allow the flame of a candle to introduce you to the light who is Jesus Christ.
“Who do you say that I am?”
“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
That is a good beginning but only a beginning. Please make room for God in your busy lives and come to a deeper appreciation of the mystery and the majesty of God.
May the Lord give you peace.
Fr. Jim McNamara