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“MUST YOU GO ABOUT IN SECRET?” (Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30): 07 March 2008 (Friday)

“MUST YOU GO ABOUT IN SECRET?” (Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30):  07 March 2008 (Friday)

 

Today’s Readings

How ironic that in today’s reading, to celebrate a feast, our Lord had to go “not openly, but as it were, in secret.”  It’s of course understandable since the Jews were out to kill him, but when we think about it, it’s true even today.  Even today, thousands of years after his death and resurrection, the Lord continues to go about in secret.

That was one thing that struck me when I was working in media some years ago.  If you decide to surf the over fifty cable channels accessible to most people, chances are, you will stumble into only two or three Christian  programs–unless it’s an early Sunday morning or late Sunday night,  during which you might find two religious shows.  It is such a glaring contrast:  So much air time is devoted to all sorts of programs, but religious shows get the worst time slot–and they get the lowest ratings.  The irony of it struck me then as it strikes me now:  That our Lord–the King of the universe, the Son of God–is virtually homeless in our world, as so vividly illustrated in media.

But when we look at our personal lives, the Lord is no less visible.  It almost seems that the Lord prefers to “go about in secret” so much so that we recognize him and realize that he’s been around almost always only in hindsight.  It is almost as if he is always a Christ of the Abyss, as portrayed in the photograph.  And so today, the question I want to ask the Lord is:  “Must you always go about in secret?”  Life–and faith–would be so much easier if you were just a bit more obvious, if you left a bit more clues about your presence and your whereabouts in our lives.

The philosopher Levinas writes about “Trace of the Face” when he refers to what he considers the utterly unknowable God.  God, for him, is so transcendent, so other, so beyond us that the most we can detect of him is his trace.  He is always at least a step ahead of us, leaving in his aftermath only traces of his presence.

Many times we realize that the Lord has been around and has moved in our lives only after the fact–and only if we have found the time to look back and seek him.  As the popular song puts it, he is truly the “wind beneath our wings,” responsible for our flights, but precisely because he insists on going about in secret, if we’re not attentive, we would swear it is our own wings–not his wind–that make possible our flight.

Here’s a Quick Question for you:  “Do you recall a time in your life when the Lord was the ‘wind beneath your wings’–and you almost didn’t realize it?”  Think about it, and share a thought, a feeling, or a question.

(image:  Christ of the Abyss)

Note:  I’ve uploaded Michael Ball’s version of the Bette Midler hit.  Here are the lyrics to the song.  The song is worth listening to–interpreted as our prayer to Christ.

WIND BENEATH MY WINGS

It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Did I ever tell you you’re my hero?
You’re everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.

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