Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

Those of us who confess that Jesus Christ is Lord do so as a direct result of God’s reaching out to us through his Holy Spirit to convince us of this truth.  It’s not because we are good people or extraordinarily smart that we believe in Christ.  In fact, too much education can be a hindrance to faith.  We believe because God has moved in our spirits and brought faith to life in us.  This is what lies behind Our Lord’s saying in today’s gospel: “The Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf”.  In fact, God has never stopped testifying to the Lordship of His Son and to the redemption he won for us.

So how does the Holy Spirit move in our hearts and draw us closer to him?  Well, it isn’t through something as spectacular as a fireworks display.  None of us have seen heaven open up before our eyes, nor have we met Jesus in the flesh.  And yet we believe.  And we believe because we have experienced the presence of Christ in and around us in ordinary but very powerful and undeniable ways.

Day in and day out, God manifests his presence to us in small, subtle ways that we might be too quick to dismiss.  And yet the more we accustom ourselves to spending time with him—whether through prayerful thoughts, at Mass, or in the Office—the more we will become sensitive to his Spirit.  We’ll begin to detect his love through the ministry of those who make the Sacraments available to us.  We will hear his voice in the kind words of friends during difficult times.  We will recognize God’s hand as we feel moved to pray for those who are sick or suffering among us.  We will even sense God in the acts of people who say they don’t believe in him but still treat others with dignity and respect.

In so many everyday situations, God is at work testifying to his Son and offering us a share in his blessing and love.  May we always open our eyes to the people and situations around us that are witnesses to the salvation Christ won for us on the Cross.

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