The first reading of the 31st Sunday in ordinary time was taken from the book of Wisdom. The first couple verses should have taken your breath away. It certainly took mine. It said,
“To you Lord, the entire universe is like a grain just tipping the scale, or like a drop of morning due that falls to the ground. Yet you are merciful to all, because you are almighty, you overlook people’s sins so that they can repent.” (Wisdom 11: 22-23)
Now if that does not blow your mind, then something’s wrong. If that does not make you sit up and take note, then I really do not know what will. Those two lines tell of the magnificence and grandeur of God who shows boundless mercy towards us.
To begin to grasp this, I would like to beg your indulgence a bit. I would like to ask you to go and get a small pebble. Can you tell how many atoms and molecules make up that pebble? Chances are not! Now I am sure that the pebble you found is much bigger than the grain that Wisdom 11:22 speaks of, and is certainly bigger that the drop of morning dew. Nothing that was, nothing that is, nothing that is to come can ever compare with God. None more wise, none greater, none stronger, none more powerful; the countenance of God is immeasurable, such that to Him, the entire universe can be equated to a grain of a drop of morning dew. But yet, He knows my name and He knows your name. Yet again He shows me and He shows you mercy over and over and over again. To our human comprehension, this makes no sense; yet it is all true!
Have you ever stood up very near to or against the wall of a massive building? If you were asked to describe the building that you were up against, more than likely, apart from saying that it was massive, you may not be able to, because you are so close to the building; you can’t really see it. Because of its great stature compared to your micro size, the building seems to be all around you, doesn’t it? Now this may not be doing justice here, but that is the image those lines from the Book of Wisdom creates for me. Even though, God is infinitely grater in every aspect of His being that any building can ever be!
God, in spite of our infinite smallness, sees us all, and He knows us all. He knows every minute detail of our being. He knows everything we have ever done – even those done in secret. He knows everything we will ever do. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we will admit our dyer wretchedness. But yet God who is infinitely greater than all, infinitely mightier than all, infinitely more magnificent than all; infinitely wiser that all – He shows mercy upon mercy, upon mercy to us all and He overlooks our sins that we may repent. In other words, He gives us another chance, and another, and another. Why should I want to place man-made gods ahead of Him? Why should I not not want to surrender my life to God? Why should I not want to give my all to Him? Why should I not want to love and honor, and praise and worship Him?
The grandeur and the awesomeness and the incredibleness of God does not stop with Wisdom 11:22. The Word of God tells us that ‘while we were still in sin, God sent His only Son into the world to save us from our sins.’ Even though He was God, He emptied Himself and became like us are in every way except sin. (Ref. Romans 5:8, Matthew 1:21, Philippians 2: 6-11). In any relationship that involves humans, it is important for us to know who the ‘other’ is and what they look like. By God sending Jesus His Son into the world, our relationship with God should no longer be ‘in the dark’ since through Christ Jesus, we come to know the Father –
“I am the Way, the Truth ands the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you know the Father too. From this moment, you know Him and have seen Him.”
Then Philip said, “Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied”. Have I been with you all this time, Philip,” said Jesus to him, “and you still do not know me? To have seen me is to have seen the Father.
(John 14: 7-9)
The Most High God wants us to know Him intimately through Christ Jesus His Son. To bring this home even more; while Jesus was still on earth, He gave himself to us in the form of bread and wine. God so wants to enter into relationship with us, He so wants to one with us, that after sending His Son, Christ Jesus gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist.
Heavenly Father, Almighty and Most High God, thank you for revealing yourself to us and for your mercy towards us. Thank you that you never give up on us, but that you constantly show us mercy and overlook our sins that we may repent. Open our eyes to the reality of who we are, to you and to how very much you love us, and grant us the grace to repent of ever turning away from you. We ask this through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen!