Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.” Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Getting to the heart of things, identifying the crux of the problem, understanding the bottom line — these are goals we work at each day in the various worlds we inhabit. This is what Jesus means in today’s gospel text as he suggests that “the reign of God is already in your midst.” Ignatius Loyola understood this reality. Central to his spiritual practice is daily attention to “finding God in all things.” He believed that we discover God’s presence in the work we do, in the people we meet, in the challenges we face, even amidst our failings and sinfulness. In other words, we don’t just encounter God in prayer or in church. Rather, God is even present in our relationships with those we live with and meet each day.
God finds us at work and in the gym. God’s grace comes alive in our conversations and daily routine. Our challenge then is that of awareness—tuning into those moments of God’s grace energizing everything we accomplish. Ignatius even gave us a tool to recognize God’s presence—its classic name is the “examen,” more popularly known as a “review of the day.” It is basically a time to pause and name those persons and places and conversations that have been for me “carriers” of God’s grace and life and promise. Here is a link to this practice. Try it — you might come to enjoy it!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
What gifts have I received today that I can be thankful for.
Where has God been working in my life today:
How am I responding to God? Where am I cooperatingwith
the sinful element within me and not doing what I hope to do
in the Lord?
I ask God’s forgiveness for the times I have not been attentive,
not responsive to God’s presence and love in my life.
I ask God’s help to guide me tomorrow. I ask that God’s Holy
Spirit will be strong in my attitudes and actions, and in my heart.
—John Veltri, S.J. (adapted for jesuitprayer.org)