Wednesday, June 28, 2017

“Revealed by the Heavenly Father” by Beth DeCristofaro

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains,…Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. … The chains fell from his wrists. (Peter) said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod (Acts 12:6-7, 11)

(Paul said) The Lord stood by me and gave me strength…The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:17-18)

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. (Matthew 16:15-17)

Help me, Lord, to be more conscious of your presence.
Teach me to recognize your presence in others.
Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.

How many times have I afraid to put up my hand and answer?  In the classroom where I might be wrong.  In a public setting where I might voice an unpopular opinion.  In a professional meeting where I might show how little I know on the subject.  In a social moment where I might be judged even if speaking up for someone or something that is right.  All of these moments I have experienced.  Perhaps the disciples felt somewhat like this when Jesus asked them "But who do you say that I am?"

Our heavenly Father is never reluctant and never second guesses the time for divine self-reveals.  I am as overawed when I am open to recognizing these reveals as was Peter.  Both Peter and Paul knew that their lives were constantly in danger but believed to their core that God would deliver them.  They were open to God’s revealing self at all times not in the way they might want – say for safety or health.  We might not live in a state of constant danger (unless we drive the capital beltway or highways each day), but we live with limitations, threats to our health both chronic and acute as well as pressures on our mental and emotional states.  Where does God reveal to us that God’s presence abides, rescues, saves?  And are we open to be rescued on God’s terms?

Chiara Lubic, founder of Focolare wrote in a beautiful image of God’s modest revelations awarded to us each day.   “the soul is all a silent song known only to you (Lord): a melody reaches you because it comes from you and is made of you. … And … strangely – strange to the human way of thinking – we have gone out to our brothers and sisters all the day long and, in the evening, we have found the Lord.”[i]  

Cursillo’s Grouping allows us the to practice seeing God in the modest reality of our environments.  Are we honestly recognizing our own fragilities that allow us to live our days in total reliance on God?  Do we seek God’s disclosures among our brothers and sisters? I need not be afraid of anything, not the least giving my answers in front of God.

[i] Chiara Lubich, Essential Writings from “Give Us This Day: Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic”, June 2017, p 22-23

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