Friday, July 23, 2010

The Gradual Unveiling


Readings for Friday, July 23/Memorial of St. Bridget of Sweden:
Jeremiah 3:14-17
Jeremiah 31:10-13
Matthew 13:18-23

When I first entered college at LSU I wanted to be an engineering major. So, at orientation I went and signed up for the classes that they suggested. When the first day of class rolled around and I got to my calculus class, I was overwhelmed. The teacher started off using symbols, terms, and equations that I had never seen before and I was totally lost from the start. After a few weeks of struggling to understand the content, I realized that it was too much for me and I eventually dropped the class. The next semester I enrolled in a pre-calculus class and began to understand those symbols and equations, and was later able to go to calculus and get through the class. The thing was that I had to have it shown to me gradually. And the Lord does the same with us.

If He were to show us the Kingdom of Heaven, we wouldn’t be able to understand it and we’d probably have a similar reaction to me in calculus that first semester. Think about the sixth chapter of John’s gospel – Jesus tells them about the Eucharist and many, finding it hard to understand, leave Him and return home.

In the reading from Jeremiah, the Lord tells about the age to come – about a Church in Zion, shepherds leading the people, the Ark of the Covenant, and a great celebratory feast. To the people of Jeremiah’s day, this was hard to understand. They were a hard-hearted people and had begun to worship idols. To conceive of a God that would give such great blessings to them was crazy in their minds. But for us who live today, we recognize that the prophecy spoke by Jeremiah so many years ago has indeed come true for us today – we are a people united in the Church, led by our shepherds, the priests and bishops, and we come today to celebrate this great feast of the Eucharist.

But the prophecy does not just stop there. Remember the Lord shows us things gradually because we cannot fully understand, even now. The Lord foretold all of these things and they are manifested in a way today, but in the life to come, we are able to experience these things in their fullness as we behold the face of God. Grant today, Lord, that we might have the eyes to see as you unveil yourself and your will for us.