Tuesday, May 1, 2018

“Why do some persons 'find' God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His Presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us.”

“God, Who is everywhere, never leaves us. Yet He seems sometimes to be present, sometimes to be absent. If we do not know Him well, we do not realize that He may be more present to us when He is absent than when He is present.” ― Thomas MertonNo Man Is an Island

Gospel Text: (JN 14:27-31A)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
'I am going away and I will come back to you.'
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me."

I have often wondered about what Jesus might mean here when He says “You have heard me say 'I go away for a while and I come back to you',” and we might ask, in this Easter season, how the Lord is absent from our lives.  We do not see Him day to day, not with the human face He wore with Joseph and Mary, with His disciples, and with all those He came to love and serve.  We likewise find it hard to see Him in those around us, who too often seem to be unlovable.  We cannot see Him in ourselves: we are too aware of our weaknesses and our distance from God, or maybe we turn a blind eye to that frailty or that loneliness and our arrogant independence does not allow us to even look for Him. 

Whether we see Him or not, He actually is present to us in those around us in all their weakness and need to be loved: “What you do for the least of my brothers...” (cf. Matthew 25:40).  And that is especially true for each of us: 

He is more present to us than we are to ourselves.... 

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