Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees;as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
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 http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In his poem “God’s Grandeur,” Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins observes, “the world is charged with the grandeur of God.” And for all our toil and trade, “nature is never spent.”
If Hopkins is right, then the world is filled with signs of the sacred. Our job, as today’s gospel reveals, is to read those signs and know that God is with us now and forever.
There are days when the signs are obvious: in the sunrise, wide-eyed wonder of a child, compassion of a friend, reaction of someone surprised by our care.
And then there are the other days—when the signs hide behind the clouds and the calamities, heartbreak, and frustrations of life.
These are the days when we are challenged to see with the eyes of faith. To turn “seeing is believing” into “believing is seeing.” To live sacramentally.
Living sacramentally is not merely about recognizing God in what we see, smell, touch, taste, and hear. It’s about being a living sacrament of God ourselves—in our homes, places of work, neighborhoods, churches, and communities. It’s about loving others, spreading peace and joy, being decent and ethical, fighting for people’s rights, caring for the Earth, and serving those in the greatest need?
Today and every day, how can we live more sacramentally?
—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.
St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises offers a wide range of practices for developing a healthy spiritual life. One of them is the Examination of Conscience, or the Daily Examen—a restful prayer that invites us to evaluate the hours of the day in light of three central questions: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ?
God, I believe that at this quiet moment I am in your presence and you are now loving me. Come Holy Spirit.
God, I acknowledge your love for me in the various gifts for which I am very grateful. Thanks be to God.
God, help me now to review the events of this day in order to recognize you in all parts of my life. Lord, I want to see.
God, please forgive the times I have fallen short, and strengthen my attempts to follow you. Lord have mercy.
God, enlighten me so that my future choices praise, reverence, and serve you above all else. Show me your way.
Conclude with an Our Father…
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!