(Gospel for the Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne)
‘But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! In truth I tell you, many prophets and upright people longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.
Our eyes see and our ears hear when we assiduously obey the Holy Scriptures and the authentic doctrine of the Church. It is important that we become aware of this treasure that has been given to us. This does not mean that our own intellect is suppressed, but that it is enlightened by something “pre-established” by the Holy Spirit. This is why it makes no sense, for example, to consider theology as a “free science”, without requirements or guidelines. On the contrary, it has been entrusted with the task of prayerfully accepting the Lord’s Revelation and trying to penetrate its mysteries with the understanding, as a “Theology on One’s Knees”. It is precisely in this way that one becomes truly free!
Even to read the “signs of the times” we need eyes that see and ears that hear (cf. Lk 12:54-56). What does the Lord want from us today? What can we see and what is the right response to this scenario?
Anyone who is not totally lethargic will notice that strange things are happening around us. According to what is being conveyed to us, we are, so to speak, in the grip of a virus that presents itself in various variants, provoking reactions on the part of civil authorities and politics that seek to dominate and change our lives. What is the correct response to this?
In the first instance, we must always bear in mind that nothing happens without God’s permission. No event is unknown to Him. This is a simple statement, but an extremely essential one. It means that only in the Lord one can find the key to understanding the present situation. Any human interpretation or solution falls too short, however well-intentioned. If God allows such a situation, it is not primarily a matter of finding a solution on a medical level, so that “freedom” can be restored without a change of life. Indeed, a life that does not strive to keep God’s commandments is destructive.
If a society no longer bases its existence on the observance of God’s precepts, it will sink and drag people down with it. So the first question at issue is whether the life of individuals and nations as a whole corresponds to God’s will. If we do not close our eyes, this question answers itself.
Conversion is needed; a return to God’s commandments is urgently needed! Every external drama – be it the coronavirus, floods or other catastrophes – only reminds us of this insistently.
No doubt the Old Testament prophets would tell us all this, for this was their proclamation. What they did not yet know, however, is that God would send us His own Son to redeem us (cf. Jn 3:16), that He Himself would bear the guilt of humanity on His own shoulders and pay the ransom price (cf. 1 Pet 1:18-19). They – the prophets – did not yet know all the wonders of the New Covenant and the special grace granted to us by the coming of Jesus into the world.
They would tell us loudly that they longed to know the Saviour. It would be utterly incomprehensible to them that we men can go so terribly astray, that we allow ourselves to be deceived by the powers of evil and miss the great gift for which they themselves longed. It would pain them to see how men today turn to new idols. When one truly loves God – and the Old Testament prophets loved Him – it hurts to see Him not glorified as He deserves. And it hurts when people do not properly recognise God’s love and consequently do not drink of the water of life offered to them (cf. Jn 4:10).
What is the response of those who understand at least something of the immeasurable grace that God has given us in His Son? Their response can only be to respond fully to God’s call, without being confused by the turbulence in the world and in the Church. There are those who say that this is a special time to be holy. If our friends of the Old Covenant could see that we strive for it, they would certainly be at peace with us.