July 27, 2023
Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Matthew 13:16–17
Imagine what it would have been like if you were among those who saw Jesus walk the earth and heard Him preach with your own ears. What a gift! Jesus points out to His closest disciples that they were truly blessed, and indeed they were. They spent day after day with Him, listening to His words and witnessing His miracles. They saw lives changed, hearts converted and souls saved from sin. What they were privileged to witness was what so many “righteous people” before them longed to see and hear. Abraham, Moses, all of the prophets and so many others longed for the day of the coming of the Messiah. And these disciples were blessed to share in it.
Though it would have been glorious to be alive as Jesus walked the earth, in so many ways we are far more blessed. Today, we continue to have the divine presence of our Lord alive and present to us. First and foremost, He is present to us through grace. He is present in the Sacraments in a real and amazing way. He is present in His Living Word every time the Scriptures are proclaimed. He is present in the definitive teachings of the Church that have come to us over the centuries. He is alive in the witness of the saints both past and living. And He is present within us by His indwelling in our souls.
At first, some may conclude that the presence of the Messiah in these above-mentioned ways is not nearly as much of a blessing as it would have been to have seen Him walk the earth and have listened to Him preach. But if we were to conclude this, we would be wrong. In truth, God’s presence to us today is so much greater than even when He walked the earth. Recall, for example, that before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He told the disciples that it was good that He go. Why? Because then the Holy Spirit would come upon them. In that encounter, God would dwell not only next to them but within them. Today, we are blessed beyond measure because God is able to live within us, within our very souls.
The Indwelling of the Holy Trinity is a spiritual reality that we must not only understand, live and embrace, it is also a gift for which we must have the utmost gratitude. Certainly in Heaven, we will receive the full revelation of God, enter into perfect union with Him and see Him face-to-face. But while here on earth, there is no time greater than the time we live in, because it is the time of the greatest presence of God in our world.
Reflect, today, upon the incredible blessings bestowed upon you by our Lord. Too often we seek satisfaction in momentary and passing things. But God’s presence in His holy Word, in the Sacraments, through the teachings of the Church, through the witness of the saints and through His indwelling within our souls are blessings that must be seen, understood and embraced with the utmost joy. You are blessed beyond measure! Believe it and grow in gratitude for these blessings.
My blessed Lord, Your divine presence in our world today is beyond imagination. You come to me in countless ways and desire to dwell within me, uniting Yourself to me so as to become one with me. I say “Yes” to this gift of Your grace, and I welcome You more fully into my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.