Today's Gospel: John 1:47-51
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels
What a beautiful prophecy Nathanael was given! I can imagine the feeling of minding my own business on a tranquil, sunny afternoon, sitting under a lone tree just contemplating life. Along comes a man whom I do not recognize, yet He knows me. And He knows me well. First, He compliments me, for He probes my heart and knows it is pure: “There is no duplicity in him.” Then He says, “You will see greater things than this. One day you will see heaven open and the angels will descend upon the Son of Man.”
My heart leaps when I read this. When meditating upon this short Gospel, I consider myself in place of Nathanael – my imagination drifting into pleasant thoughts, my heart content with the peace and beauty of the day. Often Jesus does seem to interject in my otherwise planned and picture-perfect day with a word that convicts my heart with incredible power. It is always a word that jars me, jolts me, and brings me to life. The Lord seems to bring life-changing news to us when we least expect it, and often He calls us to action at what we consider to be inconvenient moments that disrupt or disturb our daily plans.
Life experienced in a perpetual openness to the Holy Spirit’s promptings requires us to be like Nathanael – pure of heart with no duplicity, waiting and yet expecting. At times we must wait for the Lord to call us, and at other times we wish we could respond to a situation immediately, and yet God is asking us to wait for His timing.
To have a heart like Nathanael’s means that we are content to be still and equally content to be putting our faith into action at any given moment of our lives, knowing that Jesus may call us out of our comforts and familiarities. But we expect this, waiting for His word to awaken our souls. In the moments of serenity and seeming inaction, our hearts are still awake to listen to Jesus with our hearts and to respond by changing our interior lives. Let us be still and yet vigilant, expectant and hopeful, waiting and watching.
Has the Lord ever spoken something so clear to me that I simply could not deny or ignore its meaning and message for my life? How did I respond to His call? Have I listened to Jesus lately with a heart that is expectant and yet in waiting? Am I content to be still or to be busy?
Jesus, you gave us a multitude of gifts with the angels and saints in Heaven. Today we celebrate the beautiful feast of St. Michael and the Archangels. I know the angels were with Nathanael the day you visited him, yet he did not see them, just as I do not always see the heavenly hosts protecting and guiding me. Yet I know, in your goodness and grace, you are ever probing my heart, searching me and beckoning me to listen with a heart like Nathanael’s – a heart that is open, pure, and authentic. Today, help me to grow in an authenticity of character in my interior life so I may hear your voice more clearly. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Jeannie Ewing
About the Author
Jeannie Ewing believes the world ignores and rejects the value of the Cross. She writes about the hidden value of suffering and even discovering joy in the midst of grief. As a disability advocate, Jeannie shares her heart as a mom of two girls with special needs in Navigating Deep Waters and is the author of From Grief to Grace , A Sea Without A Shore , and Waiting with Purpose. Jeannie is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and contributes to several online and print Catholic magazines. She, her husband, and three daughters live in northern Indiana. For more information, please visit her website lovealonecreates.com.