Imagine trying to describe God? It certainly is impossible task. You can try to think about describing what God is like by making a comparison. We can try to think of miraculous things that we experience here on earth as a way of getting some idea of what God is like. But the truth is, we can only speak of God by way of comparison. St. Thomas Aquinas referred to this way of speaking about God as speaking about God by analogy.
The first reading is a style of literature that sought to describe what God might be like using images and experiences that people would’ve known about. In an age where we witnessed so many high tech movie productions and television shows, the description of God in the first reading can seem to be quite lacking. This style of writing was for the people at that time a form of entertainment, is much as it was about growing in faith.
It is when we recognize that God is not easy to describe that we might understand why it is that some have difficulty in coming to faith. We clearly live in a world where there is high preference to what we can see and touch. We also live in a world where the very experiences of our day while not completely and entirely gloom and doom, are filled with sad and tragic events.
So believing in an all-powerful, all-knowing God of glory, can be quite the challenge. Imagine the difficulty for the disciples in today’s gospel. They have come to experience the Lord as the God of glory, and yet they hear Jesus speak as if he would be weak, since he describes his dying at the hands of others.