We have heard it said so many times that life is a mystery; but isn’t that so because the One who has created us is a Super-Mystery? We have neither seen Him, so as to be able to judge for ourselves, nor have we heard enough about Him to say we know Him completely. Yet we go on from day to day, based entirely on our relationship with Him who is the Unknown but also the only One who can save us.

We humans are eyeballs that can’t see and earlobes that can’t hear, especially when we are immersed in the world. Yet, the Almighty addresses those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, particularly when we renounce worldly attractions, our mind and all our senses give us an understanding of the present and the final reality. When we give ourselves up in sweet surrender, God lets us in on the secret of His wisdom (Wis 9: 13-19), through the working of the Holy Spirit who has meanwhile descended upon us. Then we begin to appreciate God’s ways and desires, for He reveals Himself to those desirous of that unique experience.

Seeing that humans had foolishly turned in on themselves and were acting like little gods, our Father in Heaven sent His Only Son Jesus to the world. In the Gospel today (Lk 14: 25-33) Jesus shakes the people out of their complacency. Putting all His cards on the table, He demands nothing less than total commitment, total acceptance of God’s ways and total surrender to the Father. As He says elsewhere, ‘Whoever is not with Me is against Me’.

It is paradoxical but true that the more we give of ourselves to God, the more we feel free – it is a freedom easily verifiable from our everyday experience. Who can deny that the more we are attached to the ways of the world, the more we are in chains? Unbridled love for earthly things, be it money, power, influence, knowledge, is enslaving! On the other hand, how liberating it is to know and love God more and more!

That is why St Paul (Phil 9-10, 12-17) pointed out to Philemon, a man of high social standing, whom he had converted to Christianity, that it is of the essence that his slave, also a neo-convert, be treated humanely, as a brother in the faith. This new spirit in which the Apostle of the Gentiles wrote his short but important letter indeed prepared the world, mentally and spiritually, for a great transformation that finally led to the abolition of slavery.

The Lord has been our refuge from generation to generation! The readings of today invite us to keep a tab on the life of our minds and hearts, and to find out what can fetch us true peace and happiness. One thing is sure: without God’s help, we can do nothing – we are nothing! A sweet surrender to His will is a promise of our final victory.