Keeping It Simple

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"Keeping it simple" by Melanie Jean Juneau (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2017), CC0/PD

Jesus, the Son of God, kept things simple by explaining complex spiritual truths in parables and stories which even illiterate fishermen and children could understand. The Almighty spoke and interacted with people on their level. People with a worldly mindset often thought Jesus spoke in riddles but those whose hearts and spirits were open understood the gist.

The truth is the mysteries of our faith are exactly that: mysteries, especially to modern, educated, sophisticated people. Just try to explain the concept of infinity, the Trinity, or the idea that God is in us, as we are in God. Yes, Catholics need theologians, Doctors of the Church, and our popes to articulate our faith just as it is helpful to read and study theology — but sometimes in the face of the Almighty, I find it is better to simply throw up my hands, trust in the wisdom of the Church Fathers, and accept the unfathomable with the faith and trust of a child.

A Theological Joke

I rarely remember even the simplest joke but I have never forgotten this intellectual, theological joke told 30 years ago by a Jesuit priest in front of my University New Testament class:

Jesus was walking alongside the Sea of Galilee

when he turned to Simon Peter and asked him

“Who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter answered Him,

“Why you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 Jesus was pleased with his answer.

So, Jesus turns to the modern day theologian and asks,

“Who do you say that I am?”

The modern-day theologian answers,

“Why you are the eschatological manifestation in the ground of our being.

The kerygma, which finds its fulfillment in interpersonal relationships.”

And Jesus says,

“What?”

(Note: kerygma  = the basic Christian message, eschatological =  a branch of theology dealing with the final, end times)

Keep it Simple

Now when Peter answered Jesus’s question, Jesus was pleased with his simple answer because it was not an intellectual answer but one which came from his heart, inspired by the Holy Spirit:

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.” ( Matthew 16:13-19)

The key to living the mysterious, almost unimaginable Christian life in with and through God is simple faith and trust in God to reveal His mysteries to us when and if He sees fit. Yes, we can read and study but true revelation can only come through the Holy Spirit to humble people of prayer. Meanwhile, we walk joyfully by faith and not by sight, journeying ever closer to the heart of the Father.


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About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.

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