Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Isaiah 49:3,5-6; Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34)
Seeing Jesus More Clearly, a Work of the Holy Spirit
I did not know him. (John 1:33)
When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). How did John recognize Jesus? After all, he confessed that he didn’t know him before—or at least that he didn’t know that Jesus was the chosen Messiah. What happened?
John saw Jesus with the eyes of his heart. He could see who Jesus really was because the Holy Spirit revealed it to him. We might say that the Holy Spirit invited John to see and that John accepted the invitation.
Day after day, the Holy Spirit invites us to see Jesus as well. When we accept his invitation in prayer, we give the Spirit the freedom to open our eyes and our hearts. Our yes tells the Spirit, “Please show Jesus more clearly to me because I want to know him more. I want his presence, his power, and his mercy in my life.”
Isn’t it amazing how we can read so much into what we see with our physical eyes? This happens when an accountant reads a company’s balance sheet, when a doctor reads the results of a blood test, or when a father sees a confused look on his teenager’s face. Just as a doctor has been trained to know what to look for, so our minds can be formed to recognize spiritual realities. John was able to recognize Jesus in large part because he was committed to God and eager to do his will. His heart was soft, and his mind was alert.
Today, let’s be alert to God. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus each morning. Let’s pray as often as we can, persevere as much as we can, and stay as peaceful as we can all day long. St. Catherine of Siena learned to stay close to God by simply repeating: “God all, I nothing.” This was how she came into God’s presence and recognized him. May this be our disposition as well!
“Lord, open my eyes so that I can see you.”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- The first reading is the second of four “Servant of the Lord” oracles in Isaiah. The servant will be a restorer and “a light to the nations” so that the Lord’s “salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” We as Catholics are also called to be a light to others. How can you participate in the role of restoration by bringing Christ’s love and light to others? What about someone you know who has fallen away from the Church? How can you help to bring him back?
- In the responsorial psalm, the psalmist says that “to do your will, O my God, is my delight. and your law is within my heart.” He fulfills this deep desire when he proclaims: “I announced your justice to the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord, know.” In what other ways did the psalmist do God’s will? How do you try to be sensitive and obedient to God’s will for your life? In what ways can you be even more sensitive and obedient?
- The psalmist speaks of the Lord’s will as his “delight”. What parts of the Lord’s will for your life are a “delight” for you? What parts are not a “delight” for you, and what steps can you take to change this?
- In the second reading, Paul addresses the members of the church at Corinth as those who “have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy”, which means “set apart” for the Lord. Do you see this as your call from the Lord as well? Why or why not? What do you see as the obstacles to this call and how can you overcome them?
- The Gospel today speaks of being baptized with (immersed into) the Holy Spirit. How conscious are you during the day that the very life, power, and love of God dwell within you through the Holy Spirit? What are some steps you can take to open yourself even more to this truth, and be more sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit?
- In the meditation, we hear these words regarding John the Baptist: “John saw Jesus with the eyes of his heart. He could see who Jesus really was because the Holy Spirit revealed it to him. We might say that the Holy Spirit invited John to see and that John accepted the invitation.” The meditation goes on to say these words: “Day after day, the Holy Spirit invites us to see Jesus as well. When we accept his invitation in prayer, we give the Spirit the freedom to open our eyes and our hearts. Our yes tells the Spirit, ‘Please show Jesus more clearly to me because I want to know him more. I want his presence, his power, and his mercy in my life.’” Why do you think our accepting this invitation of the Holy Spirit plays such an important role in our ability to “see” Jesus? What has been your response? Is there room for making a stronger response? How?
- The meditation also quotes these words of St. Catherine of Siena: “God all, I nothing.” What do you think these words mean? How do they apply to you?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to “see” him more clearly and in new ways. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.