Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Come and See

By Beth DeCristofaro

Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.  Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God. (1 John 3:19-21)

Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip.  And Jesus said to him, "Follow me."  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth." But Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." (John 1:43-46)

I arise today

Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart,
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.
  (From “Matins” by John O’Donohue)

It was 3rd or 4th grade when I had a disagreement with one of my classmates that was rather heated.  Who knows what we argued about but we avoided each other and I, certainly, held a grudge for some time.  Then we were required to do a class project together and, surprisingly, not only worked well together but enjoyed it.  We began to spend time together mostly playing in the woods near our homes.  We built our own USS Enterprise and blasted off to imaginary worlds fighting evil together.  She moved away several years later and although we have not been in contact for more than 40 years what stuck with me was both the delight of that shared, creative play and also the surprise of enjoying the company of an “adversary”.

Do our automatic responses keep us from hearing the voice of God?  “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”  “You hurt my feelings.”  “You hold different political/religious/cultural beliefs than I do.”  Do my fears and expectations curb my freedom to see God in others and, perhaps, even within my own heart which can be self-condemning.  Jesus says “follow me.”  Jesus invites us to “come and see”.  What gets in our way?

St John Neuman worked hard to “come and see” leaving his home in Bavaria where he could not be ordained due to the surplus of priests in all dioceses at the time.  He learned English, left his home and traveled to America to follow Jesus’ call.  Can I leave the home of my pre-conceptions and biases thus find freedom to be Jesus’ hands and feet for him?  Ask Him for the grace to break out!  Identify one preconception you have and look at the world today through the lens of newness and acceptance.

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