How many of us could answer “Yes” to Jesus when after hearing his Word he asks, “Do you understand all these things?” We heard such an exchange of conversation in Matthew’s Gospel today and I have to honestly admit that I would hesitate to answer yes to Jesus. So often Jesus taught us with parables or stories that we need to look into deeply to fully understand and even then, full understanding may not be ours.
Jesus was teaching about heaven and what it is like by giving examples; it is like a treasure, it is like a great and valuable pearl and it is like a place where all are gathered like fish in a net, and then sorted; the good to be with God, the bad to dwell in eternal fire. But there was more, Jesus told us that the person finding the treasure and the pearl sold all they had to acquire them. Can you answer yes to Jesus, that you understand what he is saying about heaven?
So much of what we experience in our faith remains amystery. Each of our sacraments holds an element of mystery; in the Eucharist, how is it that the bread and wine
do not look or taste different and yet their substance is truly changed? And in Matrimony, how is that two truly become one? And what about Jesus being both human and divine, or how could Mary possibly live without sin and yet she is human?
All of this is part of God’s plan and we will spend a lifetime in pursuit of full understanding. What we hope for and believe by our shared faith in Jesus Christ is that we will indeed come to know and fully understand God when we achieve eternal life. So can we live with the ambiguity? Can we live not having all the answers? Our search for answers regarding our faith only serves to draw us closer to God. Our desire to know God was written on our hearts by God, Himself!
So let us work together as a People of God, the Body of Christ, to draw all people to God through Jesus Christ that we may one day be one with God in the glory of eternal life where all understanding through the love of God will be ours. Then in a choir of one united voice we can acclaim, “Yes, Jesus, we fully understand!”
In hope of understanding,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC