Today’s oh-so-famous Gospel ends with some incisive words:
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
Isn’t that so true? Especially that last line. It reminded me of an elder-priest/philosophy professor I knew at Mount St Mary’s Seminary in 1989 who once made a many-a-truth-is-spoke-in-jest comment to me: “Whenever a parent comes crying to me about their college student’s sudden loss of faith, and begs that I speak some sense into them, the first thing I ask their son or daughter is this: ‘Well, who are you sleeping with?'”
In other words, the rejection of the existence of God is often first a rejection of the moral will of God. Easier to wish God away than to bear the tragic burden of having rejected Him. Adam and Eve ‘got this’ when they hid from God in the Garden, and the conspirators in the Passion of Christ ‘got this’ when they did away with the Son of God.
When one of my sons was very tiny, he was playing an old hand-me-down game of Perfection. I remember watching him in his steamy frustration as he tried to fit the Star into the X. I was quietly waiting for him to look toward me to get some help, but after a minute or so, he finally flipped the whole game over and moved on to another toy. Good news – he went back later after he calmed down and re-gained his toddler reason, and with my gentle encouragement he achieved perfection and mastered the game.
So next time you find yourself at odds with God for any reason, turn and look at his kindly countenance. He’s really good at Perfection. . .