There is a something hidden at the back of the cupboard, covered in dust and hardly recognisable for the treasure it really is. This golden treasure has been forgotten, it's meaning lost as time moves forward. I have opened the cupboard and spied the treasure, recognised it for what it might be. I have taken it, cleaned it, gazed in wonder at its meaning, and now I share it....

My treasure is a word. My treasure is the true meaning of a word. The meaning that has been lost, forgotten. My treasure is the real meaning of the word Mystery.

When we think of mystery we think of something confusing, a puzzle, something we can't understand. We might think about an Agatha Christie novel, or an episode of Scooby Doo. If we describe something as a mystery we mean we don't fully understand it, it is something we desire to know but don't. In fact these description of the word Mystery can be found in a modern dictionary, but there is another meaning, an older meaning, a greater meaning. Want to know what it is?

A Mystery is, a truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation. You see we have focused on the first half of the sentence for to long. We must take back the second part “Except by divine revelation.” For Christians 'Mystery' is divine revelation, it is the truth, the answer, not the question.

Christ is Mystery. Christ is divine revelation, God visiting us, introducing Himself to us, teaching us and ultimately giving Himself for us. Christ's life on earth was divine revelation, the revealing of God to us, the revealing of truth. Christ is Mystery not a mystery.

The proverbial cupboard I found my lost treasure in was a 50 year old document describing the Church. It's first chapter is called 'The Mystery of the Church' and I was surprised and inspired by the wonders I found while reading it.
“Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of heaven on earth and revealed to us the mystery of that kingdom. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world.”
The Church as described here combines us all in this earthly life through baptism with the heavenly kingdom. We are the Church, a royal priesthood, a consecrated people, all of us not just the ordained, the people, the laity and ordained together form the body of Christ. “A people made one with the unity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.” But it does not stop there, Christ is the head of His Church, active it in. He sent His Spirit to help, guide, love and console us. His Church spans earth and heaven, exist through all time, “While it slowly grows, strains towards the completed Kingdom and, with all its strength, hopes and desires to be united in glory with its King.”

The Church is Mystery, it is divine revelation, it is God making himself known to the world. If we are the earthly part of the Church, and we are, we need to look at our role and how we live in this world, how we effect this world and how we make Christ present in this world. That's the Mystery we are part of, it not an unanswerable question, but it's the answer to all questions, its Truth.

The document I have been reading and talking about is Lumen Gentium, “Christ the Light of Nations” and was written during the Second Vatican Council. It a beautiful document that I urge you to take a look at, you can find the full text here Vatican Archive - Lumen Gentium

Fifty years ago the council recognised a changing world, a world they briefly described in the open paragraph.
“The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ.”
Reading the description written 50 years on you can't help but feel the document was written for us today in 2012, and that my friends is the Mystery, the truth, the divine revelation of God to our modern world.

More Posts about the Documents of the Second Vatican Council

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