DO you ever have the feeling, while reading Scripture, Jesus is speaking directly to you?
I can be engrossed in Scripture during my quiet times, when sometimes, almost suddenly, I find myself “stuck” on a word or phrase.
Not “stuck” as in questioning, but “stuck” as in glued to those words.
They grip me, they hold me; I can’t move on. That’s the Spirit at work.
I never doubt, and I realise the words are addressed to me.
I’m invited to stay with them, to prayerfully ponder and discern how they apply to me.
Luke uses the word “pondered”.
Mary, he says, “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19).
The Greek word for “pondering” is symballousa which implies careful consideration of all factors involved and denotes that something is underway.
“To ponder in the heart is a kind of holistic response to what is of God. It is a way of prayer; of living; a way of being … The emphasis is not on facts but on their significance,” The Chosen Advent Reflections of 2018 said.
“You should bear much fruit and be my disciples.”
Through these words Jesus spoke directly to me and I prayed – “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
I know I am called to proclaim the Good News of God’s Kingdom.
It was made clear to me when I responded to another call from Jesus, “Follow Me.”
It was as simple as that.
What is it about this call from Jesus that changes lives so dramatically?
When I said yes to Jesus, the Holy Spirit of Love kicked into action, a baptism of fire.
The old me had to go, the new me was needed.
The Spirit not only enlightens, inspires and brings awareness; the Spirit disturbs – deeply. There is no hiding from it.
When the Spirit is invited – “come, Holy Spirit” – Spirit goes to work dynamically, no holds barred.
In Counting the Cost, C S Lewis said: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. … and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought … You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
I was called, equipped, sent to share, to witness to others by using my God-given gifts.
The gifts and the grace we receive from God are never for our benefit alone, but rather they are given to us for the benefit of others as well.
After an encounter with Jesus, effective evangelisation is a heart-felt response.
To evangelise, to proclaim the Good News, emanates from my heart and is expressed in words inspired by the Spirit.
I am a pilgrim travelling light, doing what I’m called to do, serving God by serving others – I do so with a deep sense of knowing.
I write knowing I am inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. I write what is strongest within me – a divinely inspired action, a work of faith, an active response to the loving, clear call of the Spirit.
The Spirit instructs, leads and uses me. How eagerly I embrace it.
Thus, when I do dwell on Scripture that “speaks” to me, it’s as if Spirit is saying: “Here’s what I’m talking about. Do you understand?”
It’s a gift of 20/20 vision in 2020.
In a recent Lenten reflection, I read: “The true disciple is the one who bears fruit for the master and for the kingdom.”
We are to bear fruit in our love and good works for all.
Pope Francis said recently, “It is a Christians task to dispel (darkness) making the light of Christ shine and proclaiming His Gospel … A disciple and a Christian community are light to the world when they direct others to God, helping each one to experience His goodness and His mercy.”
It takes courage and wisdom to discern the call of Jesus. Ponder, pray, discern.
The one who lives in relationship with Jesus has his divine companionship on the journey, a journey of discovery, enlightenment, awareness and transformation, a movement towards an abundant mature life.
God chose you. You are called. Heed the call.
“Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.”
The Good News was never meant to be a secret.
Have a golden day and treasure life.
Terry Lees is a member of the Mount Isa Catholic parish.