Sunday, May 28, 2023


Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.
/ Categories: Homilies

The Shrine to the "Unknown" God

Homily for Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Easter

Believe it or not, one of the most common words used in the Google Search tool on computers is the word “search.” People are searching for many different things: information, directions, or guidance as part of our daily lives. However, most of us are searching for the answers to the difficult questions we encounter in our lives. Why do good people suffer? Why do young people die? What lies beyond our mortal lives? Is there something beyond life on this planet?

The people of Athens enshrined this search for more in an altar to the “unknown God.” When he arrived in Athens with his escorts, St. Paul pointed out this particular shrine and proceeded to preach the truth; namely, the God that the Athenians called “unknown” was the Creator of the world and all that is in it. He told them that this God does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands. God created human beings and instilled in them the desire to seek God.

What St. Paul preached was the truth about God and Jesus. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples that there is much more that he has to tell them, but they cannot bear it. Therefore, God will send the Spirit of Truth who will gradually reveal the truths for which we seek. As these people who were gathered in the Areopagus learned from St. Paul, they faced a choice. Would they receive the Spirit and the truths that the Spirit reveals?

As the fourth Eucharistic prayer reminds us, God came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find God. Consequently, like the Athenians, we must make a choice. If we choose to listen, to accept, and to act upon the truths that the Spirit reveals to us, the answers to our questions will eventually be revealed as we become more faithful to the God who has loved us.

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