Epiphany ABC

The ancients in general seem to have understood that diverse deities existed, related, competed--and that the question for human discernment and commitment was which one, whose, was the real God. Today’s first reading from Isaiah can be understood in that way. Perhaps generated from amid a wider experience of having lived in the cosmopolitan empires of Babylon and Persia rather than simply in the land of promise, the prophet’s sense is that all the earth will learn that Yahweh of Israel/Judah is the true deity, competing claims notwithstanding. "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you," promises and praises the psalm refrain. I think our sense of this vast human challenge about God is slightly different: not to choose among discrete contenders but to discern and move ever more deeply into relationship with the One who pervades all that exists. Our actions, not God’s, are the diagnostic of how well we manage. The temptation, I think, is not so much to choose wrong and wrongly (I don’t think the things we sometimes are said to idolize actually begin to fill the role of deity) but to fail to orient our lives deeply enough so that God is able to exert a deep and tangible influence on us. The Godquest is our search for God who is searching for us, finding us, to the extent we allow it. How to be deeply present there, sharing the gifts we have been given, and in adoration. Barbara Green, O.P.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Greg Hicks as "Richard III" (photo: Alex Brenner)
It would be fascinating were the producers able to arrange a quick transfer to a venue somewhere near the White House.
David StewartMay 26, 2017
In the hyper-curated, beautiful world that Dev lives in, a scene that conveys the touching, ugly stubbornness of marriage seems totally impossible.
Eloise BlondiauMay 26, 2017
This image released by the Minya governorate media office shows bodies of victims killed when gunmen stormed a bus in Minya, Egypt, Friday, May 26, 2017 (Minya Governorate Media office via AP).
The attack in central Egypt today killed at least 26 people, including children aged 2 to 4, and wounded 25 others.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 26, 2017
The data and facts are clear: If you care about working families and sound economic policy, SNAP is the program for you.
Meghan J. ClarkMay 26, 2017