Thursday, May 11, 2017

Receive Me, Live in Me

By Beth DeCristofaro

Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said, "Fellow children of Israel and you
St. John's Bible
others who are God-fearing, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors … and raised up David as their king; of him he testified, I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish.
From this man's descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
(Acts 13:16, 22-23)

When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them: "Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. … Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me." (John 13:16-17, 20)

O God,  “What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming.  I reflect on the Presence of God always there in love, amidst the many things that have a hold on me.  I pause and pray that I may let God affect my becoming in this precise moment.”[i]  

Recently stress at work, worries about family, disappointments in the country’s leadership, awful atrocities of war and the continued horror of gun violence has me down.  It is easy to get lost in the deluge of bad news.  For the ancestors of whom Paul spoke in the temple, it was also hard to stay focused on God which their history showed.  We have stories of exiles roaming a desert, refugees fighting to establish themselves in a new land, judges who tried to keep the people honest and kings who fought both greed and enemies.  Paul’s words, however, remind me that God’s plan was realized despite the failures of and - actually depending on - all those individuals and neighbors.  The direct action of God is present and visible in history even if, on an individual day when the water ran out in the desert or someone’s child died in an attack, God might have felt absent.

When I am so distracted with worry, fear, anger, etc., etc., I loosen my hold on God.  I find myself clinging to those things which do not help me in my daily life but which in the moment I think “I need” and “it feels good”.   Such things, if clung to greatly distract me from my relationship with God and with others God has put in my life.  Such things which have a hold on me distract from my own awareness that I have been gifted as God-bearer, messenger to life.

Pray the Examen.[ii]  What has a hold on you?  Is it God which is affecting your becoming?  Are you open to receiving and transmitting the one who sends you?

Photo Credit:

No comments: