The readings for today talk of heaven and its magnificence, and the Lord’s splendor. They remind us that heaven is real, a place of being that offers much holiness and happiness. It is always good to reflect on the reality of heaven, to visualize and long for a unity with God for eternity. We won’t understand heaven during our life on earth, and it is good to reflect on its importance to us.
But there is something else here. The last verse of the responsorial psalm tells us the Lord is near to all who call on him in truth. And Jesus comments that Nathanael was a true child of Israel because there was no duplicity in him. How does someone call on the Lord in truth? Is it possible for anyone to be totally guileless and devoid of any duplicity, intentional or otherwise?
One way to understand these passages, I think, is to reflect on times in the past when we may have been “going through the motions,” when our commitment, level of conscious engagement, and focus have been on something else rather than the task at hand. It is easy to do, especially in a life when we have too many demands on or time. We know how frustrating it is for us when someone else is “going through the motions” – imagine how God must feel if we are going through the motions or holding back in our commitment to follow God’s will! And we feel hurt and angry when we feel someone has been less than honest with us – imagine how God must feel! It seems to me that calling on the Lord in truth means calling from a position of total surrender to the will of the Lord – an aligning of one’s heart and mind with the will of God. A wonderful expression of this surrender is in the Suscipe of Ignatius. And so my prayer for today is that of Ignatius:
Take Lord, receive, all my liberty.
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