A Truth too big not to be Shared

13 Sep

Biking the Twin Cities on my Shwinn gives me the opportunity to see many small details that people might miss while trapped in a car. One of those recent details was a bumper sticker: “God is too big to fit into one religion.” The question I wanted to ask the driver was:  “What if God wanted to fit into one religion?” I wonder what they would say. Maybe they would respond with another question: “Why would God want to do that?” As I turned down the street to my apartment I began to think of a response. Maybe God fits into one religion because God loves us.

A hymn about Mary, the Mother of Jesus, describes her as “the ark that contained the Word who cannot be contained.” Just as this was true of Mary, it is true of Catholicism. The truth which the Church contains is too big for one religion, and yet, it is contained within one religion. This is not to say that other religions do not contain truths about God; indeed, we Catholics have much to learn from our brothers and sisters in other faith traditions. Nonetheless, God loves humanity so much; He fits Himself in the small confines of the Church.

Catholicism goes far beyond the bumper sticker for it proposes that not only does God “fit” into one religion, God “fits” into one person, Jesus. The mystery unfolds beyond this for God dwells in our hearts and God “fits” into a tiny piece of bread and small glass of wine. How can this be? No one can understand how but I think I understand why: love. God is Love and wants only to share this love. And as God’s love exceeds the limitedness of creation, God chooses to reach us by entering into a reality that is too small for Him.

As I locked my bike, I thought that this is like parents speaking in simple terms to their children. In so doing, they share can share big ideas in a comprehensible fashion. Likewise, the Word exceeds all human knowledge and vocabulary.  Yet, if we cannot know our God, we cannot love our God. And so God enters into our world, into our hearts, and into our bodies at Mass. This might be something for all of us to think about as we bike (or drive) around the Twin Cities: God is too big for any one religion and yet God loves us so much that He managed to fit Himself into one.

God is too Big to fit into one religioun

-Terence Sweeney

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