Thursday, December 20, 2012

O Clavis David

Our O Antiphon for today seems particularly fitting for this year. In the aftermath of last week's horror I think we're all very conscious of the existential fact that we "sit in darkness and the shadow of death." One does not need to be a believer to grasp this aspect of reality. It was Heidegger, I believe, who wrote something along the lines that death is the horizon against we live our lives. Even for believers, those of us who believe life continues over that horizon, we cannot see beyond it. Eternal life is our hope, which is not a wish, but a desire that burns within us. It is Jesus who unlocks the gates of death, making His Father's house accessible to us.

O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

The Scriptures that together constitute today's antiphon are Isaiah 22:22 and Revelation 3:7.

I heard something yesterday while driving to pick my oldest daughter up from her violin lesson, a news story by John Barnett on All Things Considered- "Newtown Tragedy: Would A Good God Allow Such Evil?" The honest answer is that while evil is a great mystery, for whatever reasons, God, in His all-knowing, all-loving mercy, does allow such things, at least for now. At the end of the day there is no satisfactory answer as to why God allows such evil. It was the consensus of all those interviewed that we should be wary "of anyone who says he or she has the answer."

In his song "Hard to Get," the late and still greatly missed Rich Mullins, sang/prayed,

And I know you bore our sorrows
And I know you feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained

All I know is that Jesus' birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, sending of the Holy Spirit, as well as His glorious return are the key to answering this question and overcoming the pain, or fear, or doubt evil generates.

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