Our life is full of mysteries, unanswered questions, unfathomed realities. For anyone desiring to have control over life, this situation can be very anxiety provoking! But for those willing to take the risk of letting life unfold according to God’s inscrutable design, the experience can be exhilarating and wonder-filled. The contemplative, whose special call is to gaze on God in the dark and sometimes painful mirror of faith, must make friends with mystery. The more we gaze, and the more we see, the more we perceive that there is more to see.
In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist bids us to see: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. Yet John also says that he did not know Him although he had seen “the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him”. It was said of Socrates that he was the wisest man in the world because he alone knew that he did not know. The Baptist could also claim this wisdom. The person of Jesus infinitely transcends all of our paltry attempts to understand Him. Not that we shouldn’t try to know Him as best we can! No, this is our joy, both in this life and in the next, to continually seek to know Him so as to love him more. But we must never think that we have succeeded in grasping Him completely. We cannot fit Him into the little box of our minds. Only the Father knows Him in the absolute sense, as well as the Spirit who remains on Him. We, on the other hand, can look forward with anticipation and perhaps some trepidation, to a lifetime of surprises in our relationship with Him. We need not be afraid, although we often are, especially when we take our gaze from Him and start looking too much at ourselves. That is just part of the adventure of it all. Life with the Lord is not a walk in the park. It is more like climbing Mount Everest, or
Calvary. One thing
we do know: everything is under control,
even when it seems least so—His control, not ours.