God is Already Here ... Do You Recognize Him?

Clergy Corner by Fr. Ray

We hear people saying to us, "we must put God in our lives," but God is already here! Our business is to recognize Him. "There is One among you, whom you do not recognize" (Jn 1:26), said John the Baptist, pointing to the then physical presence of Christ. The same Lord is now present in our minds in a mysterious way. It is His continued Presence, though invisible, that gladdens our hearts, even amidst our shady sadness. Did not the angel announce at the birth of Jesus, "I bring you glad tidings of great joy"? Hence St. Paul asks us to "Rejoice always" (1Thess 5:16) and Isaiah shouts out, "I rejoice heartily in Lord, the joy of my soul" (Is 61:10). Only Christ can fill us with joy.

Jesus, ever-present, enters into our hearts in the silence of prayer, provided we do not resist Him by hiding behind layers of distractions, drowning His voice with noise from technologies. He comes to us through His words in the Scriptures. If we listen to His words, they will come alive, questioning and enlightening our minds, challenging and testing our wills, moving and inspiring our hearts. He comes to us through the sacraments, which are those intense moments of grace and ‘peak’ experience of God. There are many other ways in which the Lord comes into our lives.

But we need to "make straight the way of the Lord" (Jn1:23). Clinging to one set lifestyle, against the constant warning of Christian conscience, could hinder the coming of Christ into our hearts. When we drop from our lives ‘that something’ which is unChristian, the peace of Christ flows into our hearts. Of course, the most common stumbling block that impedes the coming of Christ is selfishness. Advent calls us to straighten up those rough and rugged spots in our lives so that Jesus can have easy entrance; to work quietly on the chunks of darkness hidden within us, in order to make our way towards the light of Christ; and to get in tune with all the mysterious ways of Christ so that when He comes, we can recognize Him.

Tags: Fr. Ray, Clergy Corner

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