In his life on earth, Jesus did much good, but he also left much good undone. Listen to St. Cyril of Jerusalem speaking about the miracles of Jesus:
“At Siloam, there was a sense of wonder, and rightly so. A man born blind recovered his sight. But what importance is this when there are so many blind people in the world? Lazarus rose from the dead, but even this only affected Lazarus. What of those countless numbers who have died because of their sins? Those five miraculous loaves of bread fed five thousand. Yet this is a small number compared to those all over the word who are starved by ignorance. After eighteen years a woman is freed from bondage of Satan. But are we not all shackled by the chains of our sins?”
The saint stresses the mystery of the cross, which is Christ’s lasting gift to us.
Isn’t it true, though, that we want a Savior who creates a perfect world instantly, leaving no suffering, no questions, no evil left to plague our world? Why didn’t he recreate paradise when he came among us?
At least, why didn’t he create a perfect church?
We’d like a church that’s perfect. Not a pilgrim church that plods its way through time, but a church that knows everything, can do everything, and can judge everything. Be nice to be part of a church like that. Or would it?
So, why shouldn’t a pope blunder in his relationship with the Jews by dealing with a crazy bishop? Popes have blundered before. Native Americans and native peoples may have a better understanding and appreciation of the environment than Christians do; feminists may appreciate the role of women in the world better than the established church does.
Isn’t there room for a “learning church?”
The disciples were “slow to understand” when they walked with Jesus on the way to Emmaus. The scriptures don’t say they knew it all when they left the table after seeing him.
We’re back to the mystery of the cross. We’re always back to the mystery of the cross.