We know Jesus spoke in parables, that in what he says to us there are layers of meanings. We are also reminded that the Holy Spirit will help us unlock mysteries (not secrets for the Most High, unlike us, does not have secrets) that is truths, insights, part of a growing relationship with the One beyond all names whom we seek and find in the Triune God.

So why do we try to boil down the beauty of mystery into bare doctrinal phrases, or worse still become partisan? Perhaps thinking we have ‘the’ right answer when in fact we haven’t got the answer at all, for our knowledge is imperfect as Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 13! This is not to say we haven’t got a grasp on truths that belong to our understanding of Christian faith, we have, but it’s our capacity for making walls around these insights given, demanding one answer where many are in fact required, that causes us all so much trouble!

Fr Robin is an Eastern Rite Catholic Chaplain for Melkites in the UK. He is also an Ecumenical Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. You can follow him on Twitter: @RobinGibbons2

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