Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’
The opening words of today’s reading are very powerful. They contain so much about the hope and trust we are called to have in God our Father in heaven. Firstly we hear of Jesus rejoicing in the Holy Spirit. How often do we rejoice in the Holy Spirit, that great gift of God, one third of the Holy Trinity, the force that inspires and empowers us to live out our lives as faithful followers of Christ? Human beings become so absorbed in their own practices and routines that they often forget that there is a wonderful power moving in this world, a power that is, in fact, God himself.
Jesus is reminding us of the wonder of the Holy Spirit in his next words … his words of thanks to God. As we journey through the pilgrimage of earthly life we often overlook the many things for which we should be thankful to God. We become obsessed with the ‘detail’, by which we mean the things that inconvenience us. Very early on in our lives we seem to switch off our ability to view the world around us with a sense of wonder. We like the rural setting in which we live; we may say that we ‘love’ the countryside and our close proximity to nature. But what do we mean by that? Do we mean that we appreciate the wonders of creation as a beautiful backdrop to our daily lives; or do we mean that we are grateful that we do not have to live out our days in a crowded and bustling city; or do we mean that we occasionally notice the odd beautiful tree or flower as we struggle through the busyness of our daily lives? How often do we join with Jesus in thanking God, the creator of the world in which we live? How often do we pause to appreciate the marvellous creation God has provided for us?
Then comes the reason for Jesus’ praise and thanks to God: because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. We are all guilty of making things far too complicated. We are all professional conspiracy theorists. We struggle with accepting the world as God created it. In the beginning of Genesis we read the story of creation. That story is followed by an account of humanity’s fall from divine favour. That fall is rooted in our hunger to be as wise as God. After so very, very many years we are still making the same mistake. We want to think that we know better than God. We want to be recognized as being wise and intelligent.
The challenge in today’s reading is not easy, but meeting it could change our lives for ever. Jesus wants us to recognize that there is a loving, creator God who is our Father in heaven. Jesus wants us to understand, as young children understand, that our loving Father in heaven cares for us, protects us and nurtures us without any need for us to outdo him. The challenge is: can we accept such generous love, or will we continue to reject that love by thinking we know better?