Pearls of Great Price

27And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. [1]

This is an “and” sentence; in addition to the previous gift of Life which the Father gives the Son, this is an additional gift.  Jesus is laying out what He has received from the Father, not boastfully, but matter-of-factly, realistically, Truthfully, sincerely.  This is revelation at its core, something which would have not been evident or accessible to the human mind had not Jesus told us about it.  Thus, it is not only a gift Jesus possesses, it is a gift to us to be given the glimpse, the appreciation, the understanding of one of the inner workings of the Trinity.  It is a window on the Divine economy, another implicit aspect of the “sending” of the Son made explicit.  We should be overjoyed, ecstatic, overwhelmed, floored, bowled over, with the incredible love, mercy, goodness, trust, love, concern, understanding, insight into His creature’s nature which God has that he would share such secrets.

Paul was in awe of this revelation of the inscrutable riches of Christ,…the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, [Eph 3:8-9]…and Paul goes on to ponder the fact that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.[Eph 3:8-9]  So privileged are we that mysteries hidden from the very angels who surround God’s throne in heaven did not know these mysteries, this wisdom of God, until it was revealed by Jesus to his disciples, given as the revealed truth to the church to treasure and to share with the whole world…with anyone who will listen.

“He gave Him.”  A brief, three word phrase, seemingly inconsequential, a “throw-away” introduction, a “stage-setter.”  Yet in reality, as discussed above, a precious revealed Truth…we should not treat such phrases lightly, but ponder them, savor them like a fine wine, admiring the color, inhaling the pungent tantalizing aroma, imbibing only a drop at a time to allow the fruity robust flavor to gently trickle over the tongue.

We are inundated by a tsunami of such promising phrases, such nuggets of hidden wisdom, each time we listen to Scripture being read in Church. This has its salutary purpose of having us hear the Word of God in the context of the Church, the people of God to whom God is preaching. But, in truth, it is like being washed away, drown in the pearls of great price. [Mt 13:46] Repetition breeds irrelevance, boredom, acedia, even contempt…the oh-that-old-rag, the not-again syndrome. We become inured, deadened in the basic sense, to this surfeit of wisdom, of truth; we turn off, hearing only bits here and there.  The priest, the homilist tries to bring to our attention brief little vignettes of its meaning, its application, its relevance, often to naught avail.

This is also why it is critical to take time, other time, away time, contemplation time, meditation time, time to go up on the mountain by…[yourself] to pray. [Mt 14:23]  Only by tenderly examining each and every word uttered from the inspiration of the Spirit can we truly appreciate the great treasure we have been given.

Now to him who can strengthen you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith, to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen. Rom 16:25-27

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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