March 3, 2011 - Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Sirach is praising God in the reading today. He is showing us how we can miss how wonderful God is if we just take everything for granted. He reminds us “How beautiful are all his works! even to the spark and fleeting vision!” We can look at something as simple as a spark and realize the greatness of God. Our tendency is to not think about such things, or, if we do enjoy sitting and watching a campfire, we forget that what we are watching is the creation of God. When we contemplate God, we often think of him as if he were just one more character in this universe, but, in reality, he existed before the universe and time, and he created everything from nothing: inventing every law of physics, every color, every idea, every creature that exists. When we invent something, we copy God. Some human beings invented the cell phone, but God invented sound and radio waves and plastic and electricity and light, and, of course, the human brain that thought of putting all these things together.

It is not merely difficult for us to comprehend that God created the world from nothing at all, it is impossible. We like to think that our minds can understand anything. If something does not make sense to us, we want to just reject it as unimportant. How logical it is though that what is most important in the universe would not be completely comprehensible! Just because we cannot wrap our minds entirely around God does not mean he does not make sense; it just means that our minds are not big enough.

We are not alone. Sirach says that even the angels fail to recount all the wonders of God. Our minds are like the minds of infants compared to the angels, yet God is as far beyond them as the unlimited is beyond the limited. We can only praise God as we are able. We must never, however, presume that the idea of God in our minds is anything but a shadow. We are safest when we say only unlimited things about God: God is the greatest, God is the highest, God loves us perfectly forever. In heaven we will have all of eternity to dive deeper and deeper into the mystery of God, never reaching the end.