Knowledge and experience of God is a gift that is given to us freely by God, not because of any merits or talents on our part, but because God loves us.
This message is clear from the Gospel reading today: Jesus says that the Father has revealed His truths to the “childlike”, rather than to the wise and the learned. This revelation – which happens through Christ Himself – is given to whomever the Son wishes.
Moses, in the first reading, is a positive example of this. Although God gave Moses many advantages in life, Moses also had his weaknesses. He had a very hard time speaking in public, possibly due to a speech impediment, and he didn’t have great common sense sometimes. As the adopted son of the Pharaoh’s daughter, he could probably have gained a position of political influence that would have allowed him to help his Hebrew relatives without too much of a fuss; instead, he struck out with violence against an Egyptian soldier and was forced to flee into exile. Later, as he led the people of Israel through the desert, he almost wore himself out by micromanaging everything. His father-in-law had to explain to him how to delegate authority. Besides that, Moses mistrusted and disobeyed God at one point, and because of that he was not allowed to enter the Promised land. Yet God, knowing all of Moses’ faults, chose to reveal Himself to Moses in the burning bush and have a uniquely close relationship with him until his death.
We can also see negative examples of how Jesus’ words are carried out today. There are many people who are “wise and learned” in the eyes of the world who have little to no understanding of God or religion. For example, I’m always struck by how very intelligent and capable scientists like Christopher Dawkins or P.Z. Meyers (who are outspoken atheists) can fail so dismally to understand faith and religion. While it can be tempting to judge them as harshly as they judge us, we have to remember that faith is ultimately a gift. While that doesn’t excuse their rabid hatred of religion, it does remind us to “judge not lest we be judged.”
We have to be thankful for this unmerited gift we have received from our heavenly Father. Let us pray for all those who either have not received or have rejected the gift of knowledge and experience of God, so that all men and women may know, love and serve God in this life and be with him forever in the next.