Mass Reading & Meditation for January 24, 2013
Meditation: Mark 3:7-12
Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
He warned them sternly not to make him known. (Mark 3:12)
Can you imagine trying to keep a huge, exciting secret under wraps? That is exactly what Jesus was doing. As the Messiah, he came to bring healing, a new reign, and redemption, but he knew that the people would have a hard time understanding that the blessings would be released only after his death and resurrection. That’s why it was so important to keep the “messianic secret” until the right moment. Otherwise, people might get so caught up in all the miracles that they would lose sight of the long-term goal of redemption through the cross.
Well, the secret is out now. Sin has been defeated, and death has lost its sting. But at the same time, Jesus remains a mystery to us in so many other ways. He still surprises us with the depths of his kindness and compassion. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what it means that he is both completely just and completely merciful. How can he both be sovereign over all creation and yet still hear and answer our prayers?
Every day, Jesus invites us to learn a bit more of the mystery of who he is. It is as if we sat down with a tapestry needle and a piece of white fabric. As we glimpse his love, we start to make stitches in one color. But then the color shifts as we feel him convicting us of our sins. It may change again when he gives us new strength to weather a difficult time in our lives. Over time, our plain fabric starts to fill with a picture.
But this picture of God doesn’t develop only through prayer and study. Day after day, in situation after situation, that picture can become clearer and more detailed. Every time we try to yield to his laws or listen for his Spirit’s promptings, we learn a little bit more. Then, as time passes, we can look back and see how our image of God has changed and filled out.
Today, think about one facet of God—maybe his mercy, his love, or his patience. How has your perspective on that facet changed or deepened over the years? Spend some time contemplating this aspect of your heavenly Father. Then praise him for revealing himself to you!
“Jesus, I want to know you more.”
Hebrews 7:25–8:6; Psalm 40:7-10, 17