Encounter with mystery

Columban - Fr Noel Connolly - Encounter with mystery  

'Encounter with mystery' is the fifth in a series of video reflections presented by Columban Fr Noel Connolly.

We know a lot of theology, we have plenty of Catechisms but do we know the mystery that is God. Do we know God personally in our hearts?

When questioned we speak or teach. We tend to rely on pedagogy rather than mystagogy.

Interestingly Jesus was not like that. There was something of the Irish about Jesus. When asked a question he never answered, he told a story. He told a parable.

There is something about the parable that is marvellous. It is not just that it is a great and memorable way of teaching. It is more that it is a great act of confidence in the listener.

And remember the people who were asking Jesus questions were the religiously ignorant of his time, the sinners, the "lapsed Jews". But he did not feel it necessary to give them basic remedial instruction. He told them a story trusting that they had enough in their hearts to understand. He shared the mystery in his heart confident that they would recognise the truth of what he was saying because of the mystery in their heart. One might understand more than another and another might only understand it fully years later but they were talking at the level of mystery.

And they said of him that he spoke with authority. Not because of his degrees but because they knew what he said was profoundly true and life giving.

We need to learn to be like Jesus, to know deeply our own spiritual experience and then share our stories vulnerably and hopefully. Mission is an encounter with mystery and an exchange of mysteries.

Video filmed by Matthew Howard (Communications Officer, Redemptorists, Australia and NZ).