Did you Get it?
Ignatian spirituality is constantly calling out to me to notice the presence of God in everything and to seek the face of Jesus in each person I meet. I am able to begin my day in this mode and as the day progresses it can be a waning thought. Today I opened a notebook where I jot down things I want to remember (if I can remember where I placed the notebook) and low and behold I find that I’d written that “presence” is defined as all three centers awake at the same time: heart open, mind receptive and body aware. How absolutely true. But sometimes I’m not firing in all three centers.
So just how “awake” am I? Awake enough to know that in the last 2 days I’ve been bombarded with the following questions: “Where did you find Christ today, Where did you hear Christ’s call, How will you respond? “ And if that wasn’t enough there was Monday’s gospel of the calling of the 12 Disciples. Okay, I think I’m supposed to learn something.
Reading Monday’s gospel revealed a couple of thoughts I’ve continued to ponder. First Jesus went away to pray. Good for Jesus! I have a “to do list” of things to accomplish, but then I guess so did Jesus. After all there were people to heal and forgive and miracles to perform. So what does Jesus reveal to us in this act of taking time to pray? It’s his need as well as ours to remain connected to God. Where does our ability come from? Okay point taken.
Then there is the calling of the 12 disciples. This was a rather motley crew to say the least. The number 12 can represent the whole church when it is used in scripture. So Jesus isn’t just calling a selected few, he’s calling all of us. However, he didn’t wait to call them until they had their acts together he “called” them with their faults and failings and unchecked to do lists. He called these people from their boats, their fishing nets, their tax booths. So it is with us. What might Jesus be calling us from - to do? Their formation and transformation began because they lived “with” Jesus. They learned what it meant to live in love and service to and with one another. They learned what it meant to trust God and rely on God instead of just knowing about God. He’s vying for our attention now. Maybe they were searching or restless or were finally firing in all three centers. Whatever the case, they listened, heard and responded. Can we?
Coming together in community reveals Christ present in our midst and helps us to live with Jesus instead of just learning about Jesus. I hear wonderful examples through the ARISE Together in Christ small groups, of members from our parish becoming Christ present to one another by sharing hope when another expresses doubt; of compassion being shared when hurts are revealed. Recently when I was struggling to pray, a young man simply reminded me to invite God to this space and then invited me to pray aloud with him “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end”. Wow!…such a wonderful reminder. And, gathering together this past weekend with couples from our parish to honor and enrich our marriages blessed me in knowing that we are united in our joys and struggles and strengthened in our relationships with one another.
So as it says in Ephesians,
“Awake O Sleeper”….. And we might add, “that I might fire in all three centers”.