Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thursday in the Octave of Easter: A Receptive Heart

Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have … You are witnesses of these things. – Lk 24:39, 48

At the very core of our faith is a love story. It is an ongoing narrative of God’s deep and abiding love for each of us. He only asks for our openness and receptivity to freely experience His encounters with us on a day-to-day basis. In today’s gospel, Jesus exemplifies how He approaches us ‘as we are’ with our ups and downs, suffusing us with genuine care, concerns, forgiveness, and love beyond measure.

As this Lenten journey comes to an end, I come to realize that God is inviting me to integrate a lifestyle nurtured by the last few weeks into my everyday life - one that creates more intentional time and space to be with Him. It reminds me of a quote I learned a few weeks ago by Flannery O’Connor, “I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside.” This thought illustrates one of the basic principles of every single art form, which has not to do with what is there, but with what is not. In visual arts, this is called negative space, the blank space. The negative space allows us to see the non-negative space in all its hues, shadows, color, mystery, and light. What is not there gives what is there meaning.

What if cultivating time for reflection and awareness is our negative space to experience a living, breathing encounter with God in our daily interactions? What if we allowed God to exist in simple words of compassion others offer to us? What if faith is the way it feels to lay our hand on a loved one’s shoulder? What if the greatest beauty of the day is the shaft of morning light? God is everywhere. By seeing with our eyes, listening with our ears, and receiving with an open heart, there becomes a simplification and familiarity with God. Our response is created entirely by our grit and grace. It belongs to us. Let it be our guide in the way we encounter all those around us.

What gets in the way of receptivity in my life?
How do I make room within myself for God’s being and works?

Reflected by Tam Lontok

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