Saturday, July 16, 2016

Part of something larger

Many of the things our parents said, and we thought were crazy, turn out to be true. One f those was that as we get older time passes more quickly. Now in my mid-fifties, weeks hardly exist, and months fly by as well. If times seems to excelerate as we get older, we can begin to imagine what time is like for God who is eternal. 

In the Gospel today we see how the Prophet Isaiah foretold what Jesus would do. St. Jerome said that he was more an evangelist than a prophet for just this reason. But he was 7 centuries before Jesus. What Isaiah prophesied, he would never live to see, at least not on earth. He was part of God's plan, but in a story arc that would span 7 centuries. 

Most of us want to see the answer to our prayer now. We might give God 7 day, or if we really stretch we might give him 7 months. But particularly when we feel we are unjustly suffering, we want our vindication NOW. Few of us are willing to accept that we may never see it in our lifetime on earth.  And yet time and again the Bible shows us that that is exactly how God works. Good always triumphs over evil, but the triumph may be generations even centuries away. 

Isaiah understood what we are sometimes afraid to embrace. If we give our lives over to God we become part of something that is immeasurablely bigger than ourselves or our short little life on earth. We become part of the Kingdom of God, a story arc that stretches from the first coming to the second coming of Christ, whenever that may be. Precisely how the little piece that is one of our indivual lives fits into the whole, we cannot know. Why some particular suffering we experience is necessary, we cannot see. Like a single drop of black paint on a large canvas, alone it has no beauty. But faith enables us to trust that God see the enormous masterpiece as a whole, and why both dark and light colors are essential. 

For our part, the best we can do is wake up each morning and try to do God's will this day. And if we are truly wise, we will catch glimpses of the Kingdom, the masterwork God is creating right this very moment.