Why God hides
“wants all men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
In the middle of today’s Gospel (Mark 4:1-20), our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tells his disciples something that sounds very different:
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God
has been granted to you.
But to those outside
everything comes in parables, so that
they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”
Okay, so does God want everyone to be saved or does he not?
If he does, why does he seem to hide himself?
Ultimately, it all comes down to the tension between the concept of Free Will and the concept of an infinitely irresistible God.
If God were to reveal himself to us in all his beauty and power, few if any of us could resist. Our willpower would be overwhelmed and we would be like meteorites falling dumbly into the greatest gravity well in the universe.
But God does not want us to be dumb rocks, pulled mindlessly by his overwhelming power and glory. God gave us our free will, so that we might freely love him.
And so God keeps himself somewhat veiled: veiled by created reality (which nonetheless also reveals him), veiled by the “cloud of unknowing” in prayer (wherein we nevertheless can encounter him), and veiled in the human words of Scripture’s complex literary genres (and yet which is truly the Word of God).
As in the case of our Lord’s disciples, we pierce these veils by his grace and by our openness to his grace: we perceive, understand, and convert by God’s gift and by our own Free Will.
May the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be given to us in ever greater abundance, so that we may open ourselves even more to his grace and truth and so that our will’s may more and more attuned to God’s.