It is said that knowledge is power. Learning new things every day help us grow in many ways. But whatever we have learnt or are learning, there is still a massive amount of knowledge out there that remains to be learnt.
Some facts can be just trivia, which can be interesting, or amusing, or just simply amazing.
Did we know that the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English alphabet? That’s why that sentence is used for typing lessons for beginners.
Did we know the the average person falls asleep in 7 minutes? That’s why the recommended time for the length of a homily is 7 minutes.
Did we know that apples are more effective at waking you up in the morning than coffee?
Did we know that money is the number one thing that people argue about?
Did we know that the most common mental illnesses are anxiety and depression?
And talking about anxiety and depression, it can stem from what we know, as well as what we do not know.
So knowledge of our present situation may lead us to depression, yet we are also anxious to know about our future.
A story goes that a young man was rather depressed about his current situation, and so he decided to go to a fortune-teller to see what his future is like.
So the fortune-teller studied his palm and then he told the young man, “You will be poor, unhappy and unmarried until you are 40.”
And so the young man anxiously asked, “After that? After that?” And the fortune-teller replied, “After that you will get used to it!”
Maybe the truth here is that life is difficult and even depressing at times, and we have to get used to that. Or at least we have to be prepared for that.
In the gospel, Jesus said to His disciples, “I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.”
He could be referring to what was going to happen soon, i.e. He will be betrayed into the hands of His enemies, His disciples will desert Him, He will suffer and die on the cross.
But that would be too much for His disciples to handle for the moment. It would be too depressing for them.
Yet, Jesus also added this – But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth.
So as much as the reality of life is that it is difficult and even depressing at times, there is an even greater truth that is promised by God in the scriptures.
Because in the book of the prophet Jeremiah, God has this to say to His people. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It is by trusting in the Lord’s promise of the future for us that we dare to look towards the future with hope and not with despair.
Some of us may remember Arthur Ashe. Arthur Ashe became the first, and is still the only, Afro-American male player to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. He is also the first Afro-American to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Always an activist, when Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion, he turned his efforts to raising awareness of the disease, before finally succumbing to it on February 6, 1993.
When he was suffering from the disease, he received letters from his fans the world over, one of which conveyed: "Why does God have to select you for such a bad disease?"
To this Arthur Ashe replied with this one paragraph, and it is often quoted as the paragraph that explains life: "All over the world 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the Grand Slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to the semi-finals, 2 to the finals, and when I was holding the cup I never asked God “Why me?”. And today in pain I should not be asking God “Why me?”
For us, as the mystery of life unfolds before us, and especially when distress and turmoil swirl around us, we will be inclined to ask God “Why me?” But at the same time, another mystery is also unfolding before us, and it is the mystery of God who is Trinity.
Yes, we know who God is from the Bible and from what the Church taught us. We know that God is the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God the Father sent His Son to be like us in all things so as to teach us how to live life, and in turn Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our Helper and Guide and to lead us the truth of life and even to the complete truth.
The truth of life is essentially the truth of God the Trinity. The truth of God is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in love with one another.
And the truth of life is that we are to live our lives in love for God and for one another so that we can look to the future with hope and love.
Over the past couple of weeks, many of us have offered our time and love to fold these Jesus Invites for others so that they will come for the parish Triduum and Feastday and to experience for themselves the love of God for them.
Over the past week, many of us have prayed for Fr. Paul Tong’s recovery and offered our services to care for him after his discharge.
These are the facts of love that we need to know, and we can see God’s love being revealed in these acts of love. When we understand these facts and acts of love, then we will be ready to understand the love of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we understand, then we will also want to love others as God has loved us.