Addressing the Church in Ephesus, Saint Paul describes a “mystery now revealed.” For the ancients, a “mystery” was not merely something unknown, but something destined to be made known according to a ritual process. The ancient meaning survives in our reference to “murder mysteries,” a genre which is not just about people dealing with a murder by person(s) unknown. Instead, the murder-mystery genre typically has a sleuth, specially gifted with skills of observation, wisdom, or some other virtue empowering him (or her) progressively to see past the lies, deceptions, and delusions of the many suspects and so ultimately reveal the whole truth and restore justice.
A mystery is being revealed among us. What is our Lord doing with us? Who among us are still trying to deceive him, pretending to be devoted to the truth while in fact serving our own interests? Who is paying attention to the clues and helping our sleuth to bring us to truth and justice? The magi found our Savior by following the intricate rules of astronomy and astrology, and then by sacrificing their science and careers for the opportunity to follow the star to Jesus.
In fact, lots of people are helping. Pastoral and finance councilors have been advising the clergy on the affairs of our community. Others have contributed their thoughts and concerns. Still others forge a path of revival, extending hospitality to strangers or strengthening the faith and trust of those around them.
Do you get it yet? Do you see how the mystery is being revealed? Are you grateful for what others have done for you? Have you yet responded by assuming responsibility for the health and welfare of the Church? By gratitude and co-responsibility, our Lord prepares us for the shared life of the communion of the saints, and the communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The mystery is revealed in Jesus Christ.