My friend was grieving over the death of someone close to her. She was trying to explain the mystery of eternal life to her inquisitive three year old son. After what she considered an erudite explanation, her son replied, “Mom, is Spiderman dead?” Children ask the most amusing and often the most profound questions. Their questions can challenge our supposed knowledge and cause us to ponder life’s greatest mysteries.
Like children, the liturgy can engage us in the deepest questions of life: Why do we exist? Why do we suffer? What happens when we die? Is there a God? Is God good? The liturgy doesn’t give us textbook answers. In fact, it often prompts us to ask more questions.
This weekend, the Church celebrates one of the greatest mysteries of our faith: The Holy Trinity.
We won’t hear a textbook explanation of this doctrine during Mass, for how could anyone offer an adequate explanation of our belief that God is three persons in one? Yet we celebrate this mystery by praying it. We pray to God in the power of the Spirit “through Christ our Lord.” It is ultimately by faith that we embrace the mysteries of our belief and the mysteries of life. Sometimes, there are no answers, only more questions. The Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke in his book, Letters to a Young Poet, summed it up best:
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. AMEN!