Friday 24 September 2021

Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 9:18-22

Transparent reality

Faith does not complicate life, it simplifies it. Faith does not complicate vision, it simplifies it. Faith does not complicate understanding, it simplifies it. Why should God be inaccessible, obscure, and reserved for only a few?
When the crowds - in an uncertain, obscure way - saw Jesus as an ancient prophet or a resurrected John the Baptist, Peter saw and perceived with absolute immediacy that He was the Christ, the messenger from the Father, the Son of God. Faith does not transfigure reality, but allows us to see God revealing Himself in reality and in life. Faith does not transcend reality, but it makes it transparent; faith is not a way of interpreting reality,  it is a way of seeing it for what it is in the eyes of God and to make it transparent. Peter responded truthfully not because of the strength of the human mind, which is used to interpreting and transcending reality, but through the light of faith and the power of knowledge which, in accordance with the inspiration of God the Father, make clear and visible the reality of Jesus. That is faith. Faith does not take you closer in a simplistic way to reality, and, in particular, it does not let you see God where He is not; faith brings you closer to the knowledge that God reveals Himself, simply and powerfully in the transparency of reality and life. This is the way faith brings us closer to reality and the life of God. God, Jesus, the Paraclete is revealed in life.
And this is precisely what Jesus tries to show Peter and the disciples, the most obvious reality related to the Christ, Jesus, the true Jesus, and everything that He represents and realizes: namely the reality that He will always be rejected and forcefully removed from the systems of power and political and religious control throughout history. Jesus put it this way: The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.
The faithful vision knows and sees immediately and simply in the transparency of reality that with regard to Jesus this is and will always be. Because of conventions and lies absorbed by the brain over a lifetime of mental training, it is neither easy nor agreeable to accept the inevitable, total conflict between what Jesus is and the political and religious powers of history, but that is the reality. Being able to peacefully accept this reality, without becoming rebellious, and at the same time, without becoming resigned, is the first form of enlightenment and awakening from a spiritual and intellectual coma in which humanity is prostrated. Even when what happens is unacceptable to the mind's eye, it is precisely in what happens, if received with faith, that Jesus reveals Himself, perfectly, brilliantly, gloriously in all His radiant splendor. Jesus does not reveal Himself in intentions, in what should happen, or in what should be, but in reality.
Jesus reveals Himself, always perfectly, in the reality of His silent and humble incarnation in our midst, in the reality of the expected, violent rejection of the leaders of the people and in the paradoxical reality of His persecution by the priests of the temple. Jesus reveals Himself completely in the unexpected and almost unbearable reality of the transfiguration on the mountain, of the horrendous crucifixion and in the reality of His radiant and misunderstood resurrection. God reveals Himself in life, in all life, in every life, in your life if; with the eyes of faith and total trust in God, you will be capable to see, always and continuously, the extraordinary transparency of His love and of His presence.