Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Blog #1 HEALING / UNDERSTANDING
HEALING / UNDERSTANDING Yesterday afternoon I went down for an appointment with an audiologist at the Medical College of Georgia. She works with a computer to check and adjust the cochlea implant I received at MCG about four months ago. In a sound proof room the implant is tested with a series of monosyllabic words spoken on a recorder. Before receiving the implant I could not detect sound in the left ear for about twenty years. Yesterday the sound of the words was OK but I did not do well with the words the sounds were making' and therefore with the meaning of the sounds. This morning during a period of reflection in preparation for Mass it occurred to m to apply that experience of yesterday to our experience of faith. In the Gospel reading from John 6 : 35 - 40 Jesus describes Himself as "the bread of life". He goes on to say that whoever believes in Him will never hunger, and also, however, that though the people to whom He was speaking actually saw Him they did not believe. Their experience of Jesus was something like mine yesterday in having the sound of words but not their meaning. Then Jesus goes on to say that He will never reject anyone who comes to Him, because that is the will of the Father for Him and for them. Just as the goal and purpose of my implant is to permit me to hear and understand words that are spoken to me, the goal and purpose of faith is to hear and understand the message of Jesus to the world and to me. In a test of hearing, if all who took the test had perfect hearing they would hear and understand every word of it. All of their answers to the question what words were spoken would be the same, even though they might be written in green, blue, or any other color, in ink or pencil, in small of large print, or with the left hand or the right. This is as it is for a first grade class in mathematics as well as it is for a class in theology and faith. All the children would hear and understand the teacher's message that five plus seven makes twelve. In our desire and effort to respond to the prayer of Jesus that all who believe in Him would be one as He and the Father are one, we would indeed be that, and we would all be members of the one singular Body of Christ, which St Paul refers to as the Church. (cf John 17 : 20 - 26; Col. 1 : 24 ). But it does not always turn out that way, in first grade, or in the reading of the Bible and theology class. One child may have been absent from the class and consequently never heard it. Another child many not have been paying attention and missed it, and another may have heard it but then did not use the information for a long time and forgot it. Applying this to faith, if we all heard and understood the will of God given us through Jesus, there would be one truth that defined a single Church throughout the world, one truth about 'eternal life', one truth about abortion and marriage, one truth about the reality and meaning of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and how each of those who believe in Jesus might live out that meaning, each in his or her unique love in our everyday life of faith. After this I was ready to pray more earnestly for the unity of the Church.