Tuesday in the 17th Week of Ordinary Time (I)
Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
Awaiting that Final Clarity
Readings: Ex 33:7-11; 34:5b-9, 28; Ps 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13; Mt 13:36-43
Do you sometimes envy the characters in the bible? I know I do. Especially today, I envy Moses and the disciples of Jesus. I envy them for the way in which they are set apart from the others. Moses is privileged to enter the Tent of Meeting, while the people have to wait in the camp, a distance away. The disciples are privileged to enter the house with Jesus, while the crowds have to remain outside. I envy them for their intimacy with the Lord and the clarity with which the divine mysteries are revealed to them. Moses speaks with God face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. The disciples have Jesus to explain the parable of the darnel to them, even as the crowds are left to puzzle over its meaning. There are mysteries in my life too. There are things I don’t quite understand: Why this and that has to happen… Why such and such hasn’t happened yet… If only the Lord would offer me the same clarity that Moses and the disciples seem to enjoy.
And yet, aren’t I a disciple too? Aren’t I set apart as well? Having been baptized into the Lord’s death, am I not blessed to share in his resurrection? Aren’t I numbered among his friends? Don’t I sometimes experience moments of clarity and vision, when things suddenly fall into place? Isn’t it true that the same intimacy that Moses and the disciples enjoyed is also regularly being offered to me? Could it be that, in order to savour the Lord’s friendship, I have only to pay more attention to the different ways in which the Lord continues to call me into the Tent of Meeting, to be alert to those privileged times when the Lord invites me into his house?
Even so, perhaps I also need to be more realistic in my expectations. Perhaps I need to consider the degree of clarity that is open to us on this side of eternity. After all, even though they have Jesus to explain the parables to them, don’t the disciples still have a way to go before they are able fully to plumb the depths of their mystery? And isn’t this clarity in obscurity they experience part of the lesson of the parable of the darnel? The last judgment, the final vision will come at the end of time. For now even the disciple and friend has to wait in faith and hope and love…
How might we wait more gracefully today?