During our morning prayer time today, my bride read Bishop Robert Barron’s gospel refection aloud. One part, in particular, captured my imagination:
In so many spiritual traditions, the emphasis is placed on the human quest for God. But this is reversed in Christianity. Christians do not believe that God is dumbly “out there,” like a mountain waiting to be climbed by various religious searchers. On the contrary, God, like the hound of heaven in Francis Thompson’s poem, comes relentlessly searching after us.
In my mind’s eye, I saw the man I often aspire to be—the strong, self-reliant one—ascending the mountain of God, or rather, the mountain that is God. To what end? To conquer Him, I suppose—to pull myself, hand-over-hand, up his long white beard, perch upon His nose, look into the cosmic depths of His eyes and say, “At last, I get it. I know You. You are my God.” Or perhaps, “You are My god.”
In truth, I cannot scale His toe to reach the hem of his garment—indeed, so vast is He that I cannot make Him out. Like a comic I saw once, I am probing the distances with a telescope and cannot find Him, because the lens is pressed against His robe, seeing only a tiny circle of His vastness.
Yet even as we keep struggling to pull ourselves up to His level, He seeks us as the object of His constant attention and love. In his song “Ever-Chasing God,” Jon Guerra describes Him this way: “My Father ever-chasing/My chaser ever-keeping/my keeper ever-giving/my ever-living God.”
And how does He seek us? He turns His mountain to a molehill. The One who created the Universe renders Himself helpless and insignificant, coming to you as an embryo, a baby, a slave, a convict, a corpse—a bit of unleavened bread. He makes Himself digestible, that we might understand His great love for us. No need, no concern is too small to warrant His attention. He loves us to death…and back, praise God!
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Blogger’s Note: This post first appeared as part of the Wednesday Witness blog series on the St. Michael Catholic Church website.