It’s easy to recite the psalm response after the first reading the required three or four times on auto-pilot without giving it a second or third thought. That’s a missed opportunity because there’s often a life-changing reminder in the short psalm phrase selected for our repetition.
Take today’s response: “The Lord is close to all who call him” . Psalm 144
Too often we don’t have the feeling that God is present? We might wonder why Jesus is not more visible and active working in ways that we notice to turn things to our good and giving us a felt sense of his positive presence and action with us.
Perhaps we forget that Jesus respects our freedom, usually preferring to wait for us to invite him to make himself known. Remember Revelation 3:30 when Jesus says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” (FFF reflection on this and the famous Holman Hunt painting at this link).
Paul concludes today’s first reading speaking directly to me: “I am saying all this not just to make you ashamed but to bring you to your senses”!
I need this wake-up call to bring me to my senses reminding me to call out to Jesus for whatever i need in any and every moment.
If you want to be more aware of Jesus’ presence with you, try asking him to make himself known to you.
- What is your need today? If you’re not sure, ask Jesus to reveal your need to you. Now ask him to let you know that he is close to you in the midst of the circumstances of your life today. You might find it helpful to use a formal prayer (perhaps the Our Father) as a part of your invitation. Repeat the invitation as often as you think about it through the day – this vigilance will increase your sensitivity to every way that Jesus is present and active in your life.
- As many of us continue these days as a retreat-in-daily-life, this simple morning and evening reflection might be helpful. Try it on waking in the morning before getting out of bed, or last thing at night after turning out the light.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your initials to join those taking these few days as a simple retreat-in-daily-life, and to invite others to keep you in prayer. Click the image to enlarge.
Good morning and thanks for the reflection on freedom and calling.
God Bless .
Good morning Father John.
Your reflection this morning got me thinking about a relative who often says that we have picked the wrong religion, because we always seem to have things happen to us.
I always reply that no, this proves that it is the right religion. If Christians were always successful and wealthy and everything they touched turned to gold, the hand of God would be obvious to everyone and there would be no need for faith.
In fact the opposite is true and we all have crosses to carry, which puts people off following Christ, hence our emptying churches. As my relative points out “most of the successful, powerful and wealthy people are not religious, so that must say something”. However God works in subtle ways to turn all things to good for those who love him, opening doors to unexpected places and people.
Read the FFF reflection on the Holman Hunt painting.
Did not realise the painting had toured New Zealand.
Thanks Fr.John. The painting touches the Heart.