Jesus noticed everything…
Workers in the field, the soil, the sun and rain, the seed. Women kneading bread and generals waging war. Guests at a banquet, and two pennies in a widow’s hand.
The parables of Jesus give us so much to ponder – like mirrors to our souls. But they also give us a lens through which we can look at the world. Jesus has a deeply contemplative gaze as he looks upon the world, everything in it, and each one of us.
How can we take on the attitude of Jesus? How can we start to notice the things that really matter – or better, notice the value and meaning in everything that surrounds us right now?
Each year, priests and religious – and many lay people – make a retreat, a time of recollection and prayer away from the cares of daily life. But the word “retreat” is deceptive. It sounds like running away, giving up on things and throwing in the towel.
Perhaps a better image of a “retreat”, of entering into the contemplative attitude Jesus shows us, is a doctor with a stethoscope. It is necessary to silence the noise outside in order to hear the beating of a heart. Jesus had a stethoscope on the heart of the world, and noticed exactly what was going on around him. Far from running away, he stood in the midst of everything, hearing and seeing the deepest truth in the world.
An ultrasound provides another image of Jesus’ attitude in the world. It gives a delicate picture of what is hidden and amplifies the sound of this new heartbeat till it fills the room.
God is at work in the details of your life today. You don’t need to go away to a monastery and devote a lifetime to silence. Jesus shows you how to stop and notice what is going on right here and now. It only takes a few moments for a doctor to pick up a heartbeat, a pulse. And the Spirit of the Lord can teach us how to stop for a moment to listen for the beating of God’s loving heart.
We do not know how to pray as we ought, but God sends his Spirit to make known what is growing within, to amplify the life of his grace and mercy at work in us.
There’s a silly prank, where a person stops and looks up at a tree or off into the distance. Others will stop and try to see what the person’s looking at. Try it sometime…it’s harmless fun.
Imagine if like Jesus, we take a moment stop and look into the loving heart of God. People will wonder what we’re looking at. Even if we’re not quite sure ourselves, the Spirit will come to our aid. Jesus promised it, and we believe him.
Jesus, you noticed everything. You saw the reflection and heard the echo of your Father’s love everywhere. Send us your Spirit to teach us how to pray. May we hear the echo of your Father’s love in everything and see everything – as you did – in the light of that love.