Jesus Invitation into our Hearts
A real moment of spiritual maturity for me was realizing that I could find Jesus each and every day, if only I cared enough to seek Him out. Of course, He would sometimes make Himself known in significant ways, but other days, most days, His gentle spirit would be waiting for me in the most ordinary ways. This Lent, we are looking at the path to sainthood. The awesome thing is that we are able to advance on that journey all the time!
To grow in holiness is to simply work on being your best self each and every day. This is wise, since we do not know the time when Jesus will return. During his homily, the priest once asked our congregation what wrongs they would right if they had only one hour until Christ’s return. That sparked a conversation between my husband and I on study and service. Were we doing enough to advance God’s kingdom? Matthew 25 says that when Jesus comes again He will divide those living into two groups: the righteous and the others (33). Spoiler alert: the “others” are immediately sent off to eternal punishment (46). Since we did not want to be in the "others" category, we started taking steps to take Jesus’ invitation into our hearts more seriously than we had been.
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus invites us to open our hearts to Him all the time. This invitation is not exclusive to the sacraments or to mass. Our loving God wants us to grow in our faith every day and provides us with the opportunities to do so! In fact, we are given a myriad of examples in Matthew 25:35-40.
“I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you receivedme in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’ The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!”
Sometimes, it is easy to see Christ in big situations which desperately need our assistance and prayer. But it can also be as simple as purging a closet once a week and donating your unused items. Or making a meal for someone (whether you know them or not) who just had a baby or is dealing with an illness. Prison ministry is not always doable, but sending notes of encouragement and of God’s love is something we can all easily get behind. The same concept goes for visiting those in the hospital or the elderly in a nursing home. In my family, we are trying to become more aware of situations where we can offer our service. Now this is not just waiting for something to fall on our laps, but actively seeking out the needs in our community. Read your neighborhood/ apartment complex Facebook page. Look past the first page of your church bulletin. The heart of Jesus is in all of those needs, and in his own words, we just need to “seek and you will find”.
Peace of Heart Almighty and Eternal God,Give me, I beseech You,the great gift of inward peace. Command the winds and storms of my unruly passions. Subdue, by Your grace, my proneness to love created things too much. Give me a love of suffering for Your sake. make me forbearing and kind to others, that I may avoid quarrels and contentions. And teach me constantly to seek after and to acquire that perfect resignation to Your Holy Will which alone brings interior peace.