Bottom line: God has made us for the truth. We want to know. We want ultimately to know all truth...Jesus desire to give us the Spirit of Truth. The Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth.
Happy Father's Day!
Jesus says he has much more to tell us but we cannot bear it now. We need, he says, the Holy Spirit. "He will guide you to all truth."
You and I are made for the truth - not as some kind of weapon or instrument to power but for truth itself. We want to know.
Back in 1841 people lined the docks of New York. They weren't there to receive a family member or to see the latest fashions from Paris. No, they were waiting for the last chapter of a Dicken's novel (The Old Curiosity Shop). They were desperate to find out what would happen to the heroine - Poor Nell. We want to know.
When I was a young priest a television series came out called "Roots". During the week people discussed what happened in the last episode and then rushed home to find out what would happen next. We want to know.
I understand something similar happened these past years with The Game of Thrones. It wasn't as widely viewed as Roots but it captivated millions.
I've given examples from fiction, but fiction only works if it has a ring of truth. The way a story can carry us along gives a comparison for heaven. We want to know, we are made for truth. We are made for God who is truth itself. As that truth unfolds we will want to know more and more. It will totally captivate us. Fortunately we will not need sleep because we will be filled with expectation that would make sleep impossible.
Jesus desires to give us the Spirit of Truth to guide us to all truth. Regarding how we will experience that truth we should remember that we pray through Jesus to the Father in the Holy Spirit. In the Spirit refers to the Communion of Saints. Each reflects some aspect of God's being.
Bishop Robert Barron refers to this diversity in his new book, Letter to a Suffering Church. We'll see more this summer but today one quote about the variety of in the Communion of Saints:
"Among the saints we find the brilliant Thomas Aquinas and the scholarly challenged Jean Vianney; the wealthy Thomas More and the abjectly poor Benedict Joseph Labre; the warrior Joan of Arc and the pacifists Nereus and Achilleus; the mystic John of the Cross and the social activist Oscar Romero; King Louis IX and the humble porter Andre Besset; John Henry Newman, who lived to be ninety, and Dominic Savio who died as a boy; Therese of Lisieux, who spent her entire religious life in a tiny convent in an obscure town, and Frances Xavier Cabrini who crossed oceans and continents; Ignatius of Loyola who walked only with difficulties and Pier Giorgio Frassati, who loved to climb mountains."
After this impressive list Bishop Barron concludes: "The point is that each of the saints, in his or her utterly unique manner, shows forth some aspect of God's beauty and perfection."
In heaven we have eternity to explore the mystery of God and how that mystery is reflected in each saint. Now, I recognize some people are so narcissistic that they have no interest in others. They live in a self-enclosed world. God will not force anyone into heaven.
To enter heaven requires effort. St. Paul speaks about afflictions, endurance and hope. We each have to make a choice. But, of course, we don't do it on own power. We are, says Paul, "justified by faith". Without the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, we cannot even make the first step.
God has made us for the truth. We want to know. Ultimately we want to know all truth, not to show off, but for the exhilaration of discovery.* A good father wants his child to know, not just to survive but to know the good, the true and beautiful. Jesus wants to bring us to the Father. He gives us the Spirit of Truth. He will lead us to all truth. Amen.
*Other examples of the desire to know include political junkies, civil war buffs and brilliant scientists. Carl Sagan, when he was dying of leukemia, said he wanted to live longer to learn more and more about the cosmos. You could give many examples of the desire to know but I think stories are the best comparison because of the way plot and characters can captivate us. And a person can keep going back to story like the Odyssey or the Bible and never exhaust it. Just so, the Communion of Saints.
From Archives (Trinity Sunday - Year C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru