The Season of Epiphany should help the Church to see God’s work in the world. On the Epiphany of the Lord, on January 6, the Church celebrates God the Father revealing God the Son to the first gentiles (in this particular incident Wise Men from the East). This event begins extending divine revelation beyond the first-chosen People of God, to gentiles around the world. God starts revealing His Son to all the world.
God’s work in this world can be noticed in other places as well.
Some of those places are not often considered by the Church.
For example, take the matter of the Bible. The books of the Bible, including the Old Testament and the New Testament, somehow survived the chaos of history that destroyed and canceled the vast majority of ancient texts. Exactly those books were assembled into the book that we call the Holy Bible. How in the world was that possible? How did that occur? God had to be at work, from beginning to end, from the first draft of the first book to the last editorial change of the last book. Without God’s assistance, the Bible, as we know it, would not exist. “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for gaining in righteousness….” (II Timothy 3:16, NRSV) The Bible is God’s work.
For another illustration, think about the existence of Israel.
In “Christopher Hitchens Wasn’t Great” (Commentary, February 2022), Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik writes: “Thousands of years ago, Jewish scripture claimed that Abraham’s family would affect the world far beyond its numbers, that there was one land linked to its destiny, that this tiny people would experience exile, that it would survive all efforts to destroy it and would one day return from around the world. Then the most unexpected event of all occurred: It all came true.” After suffering the grotesque horrors of the Holocaust, Jews from around the world gathered in the Middle East and reestablished the nation of Israel. How was that possible? God was at work in this amazing development in history.
Now consider abortion in the United States during the last 50 years — since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the US Supreme Court in 1973. Since that decision, because of that decision, there have been nearly 60 million abortions. Sixty million.
60,000,000. These abortions have been made possible by Roe—and by all the major American institutions by saying nothing about abortion or by promoting abortion choice or by advocating for abortion (the more, the better). Planned Parenthood. Legacy journalism. Big tech.
Colleges and universities. The legal world. The political world.
The corporations. Hollywood. Oldline churches. When it comes to abortion in America, these institutions are dominantly pro-choice or pro-abortion.
With pro-choice/pro-abortion messages being sent out countless times every day as persuasive propaganda—sometimes sung, sometimes painted, sometimes acted, sometimes argued, sometimes advertised, sometimes lectured, sometimes researched—you would think the pro-life message would be totally drowned out. Silenced.
Amazingly, that has not happened. A great upset, a grand reversal, seems to be in the making. The Supreme Court might well overturn Roe v. Wade this June or July, or earlier. How could this possibly be happening? God is at work.
Quietly, continually, God is working to advance the Gospel of Life. In local churches and communities, priests, pastors, and laity, who faithfully serve the Gospel of Life, God is at work. In local pregnancy centers, God is at work. In mothers and fathers who cherish and receive the gift of children, God is at work. In those who peacefully protest against the carnage of abortion, God is at work.
In those who write and speak for the protection of innocent life, God is at work. Because of God working through many people in the United States, the powerful pro-choice/pro-abortion forces now consider themselves under siege.
That is unbelievable. Until we recall that God is at work in this world—perhaps getting ready to pull off another world-historical upset. Like the resurrection of His Son.