Sunday, 3 July 2011

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

"I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will." Matt 11:25,26 RSV

A number of times our Lord says in the gospel that we have to be in some way like children if we are to enter the Kingdom that He is proclaiming.  In today's gospel our Lord was referring to the nature of divine revelation. Divine revelation is grasped not through human skill, intellect or wisdom, but through purity of heart and virtue, especially those of faith, hope and love.  The little child can very easily exemplify this. They place their trust so readily into the care of their parents and those that love them. They have no developed intellectual skills or any wisdom, yet how often they can speak a truth unknowingly, or ask a penetrating question!  You might think that a father who has studied theology would be well equiped to deal with the questions of little ones, but it never fails to surprise me how challenging my children's "simple" questions can be; more penetrating than any professor's.  And I think that is a key to what our Lord was pointing at in the gospel. Our hearts are far from simple, they are very complex:  we have several agendas all working at the same time,  we have mixed motives over almost everything,  whereas the child is simple.  The truth is that God is simple too.  In fact God is the simplest of all. God is holy - in fact thrice holy.  God's motives are pure. God's understanding is complete and utterly beyond us.  Yet God condescends to reveal Himself to little children - those that have sufficient purity of heart to be able to grasp the simplicity of God's revealed truth.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you shed your truth as light upon humankind; help us to grow in purity of heart, that with simplicity and virtue, your divine truths may penetrate our hearts, through your Son, Jesus Christ, your Word and our Lord. Amen.

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)