William Lyon Phelps was an American author, critic and scholar who taught the first American university course on the modern novel.
He taught English literature at the Yale University for forty-one years until his retirement in 1933.
Once, while correcting an answer-paper, before Christmas one year, Phelps came across a note (like the kind, even these days, some children would do in an examination, to appease and please their teachers!) in the answer paper: “Only God knows the answer to this question. Merry Christmas.”
A bit amused, Phelps returned the paper with this note: “For that answer, God gets an A grade – outstanding. And you get an F – below satisfactory. Happy New Year!!”
This little humorous incident (without being too critical), when looked from a global spiritual perspective, points out a grand and complex reality:
There are many questions of life which will keep baffling humanity.
To some answers will be found.
>> To some, answers will be known.
But to many, there will be a mysterious silence.
Humanity does not have an answer to all questions in life.
Yet, life encourages us to walk ahead, with trust and hope.
As Christians, this trust and hope finds a greater meaning and strength, because we have the assurance and promise of the Lord that He is with us, and solutions for life’s problems will be revealed to us, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Gospel of the Day is this assurance of Jesus that even though many things are not understood in life, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us, in time and as needed, the mysteries of life and of our faith.
The Lord had been with the disciples for quite some time and had instructed them on many teachings.
Even at the final discourse, in the context of the Last Supper, Jesus teaches His chosen ones many things.
Yet, He still has many more things to tell and teach.
But like a loving parent, who knows the grasping power of the child….
>> Like an understanding teacher, who realises the comprehending capability of the student…
Jesus knows, that the disciples would not be able to understand still further His teachings.
And so He says, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (Jn 16:12)
But He does not leave the Disciples in this state of hanging in mid-air…
>> He assures them of the Might Power that will follow His going away from the disciples.
>> He promises them that the Holy Spirit will descend on them and they would realise, gradually, the power and depth of His teachings!
“But when He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth” (Jn 16: 13)
Our lives too remains a blank question-paper, with questions hurled at us, and answers found wanting!
Situations and circumstances put forward many uneasy, awkward and even unanswerable questions to us.
>> We look for answers.
>>We seek for solutions.
Sometimes we get.
>> But many times, we fail to obtain.
It may lead us to desperation.
>> It may even lead us to anxiety.
But the Lord assures us…
… that He has the answer to every question in the world
… that He has the solution to every problem of our life.
But not all will be told to us, or revealed to us, at once.
>> They will be conveyed to us, at the appropriate time, in the appropriate situation.
From our part, what is simply needed is…
… an openness to His Spirit
… a trust in His Divine Providence
… a constant seeking to know His Will
The underlying principle for this simple, yet, seemingly hard to practise philosophy of life, is the fact that “God Loves Us” immeasurably, and that every moment of our life, is taken care by Him.
>> His glory fills the heavens and the earth.
>> His knowledge permeates in every event of life.
Let us seek to grow in this faith and trust in the Lord.
God Bless! Live Jesus!