What should be evident

In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans he quickly addresses gentile people’s culpability for knowing – or at least having an strong inclination of – the one true God given they did not have the benefit of the covenant relationship with Him. Paul writes: “For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:19-22)Today is the Memorial of St. Josaphat whose first reading is from the Book of Wisdom. When I read the passage, it is clear that St. Paul is not creating something new to Jewish thought, but simply bringing it into a larger discussion about our most intrinsic, hard-wired inner longing: to know God. Wisdom and Paul both point out that the Divine Artist

For all men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan; But either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water, or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods. Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods, let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these; for the original source of beauty fashioned them. Or if they were struck by their might and energy, let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them. For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen. But yet, for these the blame is less; For they indeed have gone astray perhaps, though they seek God and wish to find him. For they search busily among his works, but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair. But again, not even these are pardonable. For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its LORD? (Wisdom 13:1-9)

Here in Northern Virginia the forecast for Friday is a balmy afternoon with clear skies, warmer-than-normal temperatures, and a breeze. I am writing this on a Sunday afternoon – so who knows what the revised forecast will be, but in any case, take a moment to consider the creative work of the Divine Artist and give a prayer of thanks to see the handiwork of “the original source of beauty.

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