24 September 2022

Amazed but not comprehending

25th Week OT (S)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP
St. Albert the Great, Irving

So, everyone is amazed. But no one understands. Just yesterday, a bereft father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus for an exorcism. He tells Jesus that the disciples were unable to cast out the unclean spirit. Jesus responds, O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you and endure you?” You can almost feel the disciples hanging their heads in disgrace, looking around for a hole to crawl into! Jesus casts out the unclean spirit, and all were astonished. Astonished yet uncomprehending. What were the Amazed failing to understand? The Big Picture; that is, the divine plan for humanity's salvation. So, Jesus prophesies for them – again, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” For the second time, the Son of Man reveals his end. And they still don't understand. Why? Because the meaning is hidden from them. AND b/c they were afraid to ask. They feared knowing the truth, knowing the meaning of Jesus' cryptic prophecy. Think about it: the disciples have left everything and everyone behind to follow Christ. Everything they have and are is directly tied to Jesus and his ministry. He's a relatively young man, so they figure they have a good thirty years with him to develop the ministry and establish themselves as religious leaders. Jesus is their bread and butter and he's running around prophesying about being handed over to the authorities! That's not a good look for long-term investment and growth. IOW, they are thinking as men do, not as God does. We know how things turn out. Jesus is handed over. He dies on the Cross and rises from the tomb. The HS enlightens the disciples. And they evangelize the known world, growing the oldest living human institution on the planet, the Church. Here we all are 2,000 years later. Yes, we are astonished, but are we comprehending? God's plan for our salvation was accomplished on the Cross. Our human nature is healed. We are free to receive the gift of divine love and participate fully in the life of Christ as heirs to his kingdom. We are sons and daughters of his household. Beloved children. Partakers in the divine nature. God's plan for you, for me, for all of us together is the same as it has always been: to liberate us from sin and death so that we are able to return to Him like Christ did – fully human, fully divine. That should astonish everyone!      

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