Next Sunday closes out the Liturgical Year by revealing Christ the King, the Self-Immolating Bridegroom. My column at First Things this week looks at the words of Pope Benedict XVI about the workings of his Kingship, which are not always obvious:
The King is Jesus. In him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself. This is the usual form of the divine activity in relation to mankind. God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man, and even of turning his wrong ways in to right ways.
— Coworkers of the Truth
For some of us who work in new media—I almost wrote who “live and work” there—and who have taken to pondering the negative effects of a life perhaps too plugged-in, there is some consolation to be found in that. The message reminds us that there are things “seen and unseen” constantly at work.In the midst of what seems like chaos, God is always quietly working his mysterious wonders. Mary’s life must have held an element of chaos in it—would she be stoned; would Joseph put her aside—even as the King of Kings was being knitted together in the quiescence of her womb, God working all unseen. For the apostles, and again for Mary, the death of Jesus must have seemed to them a most chaotic time—betrayals, the loss of public trust, the brutal and unjust death of the master—and yet, again, the will of God was quietly taking effect in the silence of the tomb, and waiting to be revealed.
These events bear out Benedict’s observation that God turns “wrong ways into right,” and we need to keep that in mind as we try to enter into the spirit of Advent and face our deepest longings during tumultuously passing days.
You can read the rest, here. I am continually struck by how often we need to learn and relearn the lesson: things seen and unseen and God’s hand is in everything, working in ways we cannot see or comprehend. If we can find the evidences of it (the Incarnation and Resurrection are good starting points) we can believe it.
But even believing it doesn’t matter, until we trust in it. Gotta trust the King!