9 May 2015
Jesus said and taught many things. But there were a lot of things he didn’t say. There were a lot of things he didn’t talk about, explicitly. And yet, it’s not true to say Jesus doesn’t speak to his people anymore. That would be false. We believe very firmly that the Lord does continue to speak and teach and guide his people right up to this very day.
He’s been present to his people, the Church, since from before the beginning. And he’s never left her. And so, when we hear in the Acts of the Apostles that “they handed on . . . the decisions reached by the Apostles and presbyters,” we hear that Christ is still very much alive. Those decisions in the early Church weren’t reached outside of the Holy Spirit. Rather, they were inspired and guided by the Spirit of the risen Jesus.
The Lord has a lot more to say, or more accurately, he has a lot more detail and nuance to show us. And he does that through the living Tradition of the Church. Jesus himself makes a distinction in the gospel between “my words” and “your words,” and how the two are practically one and the same.
It’s the true that the Church makes mistakes. That’s to be expected. But a Church that’s lasted 2,000 years and gone through as much war, schism, dissension, and scandal as it has can’t be anything other than the enduring presence of the living Son of God in the world. Sacred Scripture is the precious Word of God. And the holy Tradition of the Church is the precious work of God.
God reveals himself and speaks to his people in both Scripture and Tradition. And God reveals himself here in the sacred mysteries of the liturgy; the liturgy, which has gone through transformation after transformation over the millennia, and yet, is still the one, unchanging font of God’s grace. And God reveals his power, intelligence, and breadth in the created order.
When Jesus spoke to his disciples all those thousands of years ago, it was only the beginning trickles of an eternal river of divine wisdom. Christ still speaks to his people—in the Church. And he still speaks to the world—through the Church. Thanks be to God we can still sit at the feet of the Master. Even today we can listen with awe and wonder at all he still has to show us.