Wednesday, April 23, 2008
"Remain in me." (John 15:4)
With these words, Jesus points out how vital it is for us to stay connected to him. Just as a branch receives its nourishment from the vine, we need to have constant contact with him so that our spirits can grow strong. Jesus is not just an accessory to our lives; he is our life! We need to be close to him not just once in a while but every day. In fact, we really should stay with him throughout each day. But how do we do that?
The most obvious answer is to pray. If the desire is there, we can pray even when we’re surrounded by activity. Knowing God is always before us, we can say: “Thank you for all your blessings, Father!” We can tell Jesus, “I love you, Lord!” and we can ask the Holy Spirit, “Please fill me with the strength and wisdom I need right now.” We don’t have to say a lot. When talking to someone we love, a few words from the heart are all that is necessary.
Since prayer is a conversation, we also need to listen to God. And we can do that no matter where we are. In quiet moments, he will talk to us in the stillness of our hearts. At busier times, he speaks to us through circumstances. Can you see Christ in other people—whether they are kind or unkind? Are you open to how the events of your life, pleasant or unpleasant, can bring you closer to him? If we keep our spiritual senses attuned, we’ll find he’s always telling us something.
To keep close to Jesus, of course, we also need spiritual food. There is no better way to keep his presence with us than by receiving him in the Eucharist—if not daily, then at least every Sunday. But when all else fails, we have his word. We can carry it with us by memorizing a verse, or even by taping a passage to our desk at work or a convenient place at home. If we make even small efforts with sincerity, we can reap great benefits, for “he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
“Jesus, I want always to be found in you. Help me to be diligent in seeking you, whether I am busy or at rest. Let my heart be fixed on you always!”
Acts 15:1-6; Psalm 122:1-5