Thursday after Epiphany
I will seek to remember the goals I have to achieve today for eternity: holiness of life, fulfillment of God's will, and service of my neighbor.
Lord, I see in you how to live life with the Spirit as my foundation, as the rock
that permits me to walk through any troubled moment with peace and joyful abandonment to your will.
Gratefully I put all my trust in you and offer all my meager love in
Lord, grant me the grace not only to know, but to live
your presence as the one and only foundation of my hope and happiness.
1. He Went off
to the Mountain to Pray:
Christ did not run his interior life on the thrill of immediate
success. The core of what consoled and sustained his heart was not splendid results in the
apostolate, but rather his prayerful union with his Father in heaven. Whether results for his
mission were easy or hard to obtain, Christ was equally given and equally motivated. Constancy of
spirit and firmness of will are founded not on momentary results, but on the peace and deep joy of
living the Father's will. Christ defends this sacred place in his heart with one key element: time.
Making time for prayer builds the wall that defends God's sanctuary in our soul. Time for him alone
is what establishes a beachhead for the Kingdom in us, so that we can establish it around us. From
there we see what is passing, superficial or vain. This leads us to embrace what is eternal,
self-giving and perfect in love.
2. He Saw That They Were Tossed About While
Whenever the apostles pushed out on the water, it was a time to learn. Water
symbolizes life, and waves symbolize all the uncertainties of this life, all the trials and
sufferings that seemingly labor to bring our world to a bad end. Christ consistently tests and forms
more deeply those whom he loves. Troubles are not eliminated because we have found Christ. Rather,
at times they may increase, for they are the training ground of a saint and an apostle. Christ saw
the apostles in trouble, but they were never alone—the watchful gaze of Christ never left them, his
care was never absent. Let my faith bring me to confidence in that gaze, the all-knowing presence of
Christ, in all I do and suffer for him.
3. "Take Courage, It Is I, Do Not Be
St. Augustine wrote of this passage, "He came treading the waves; and so he puts
all the swelling tumults of life under his feet. Christians -- why be afraid?" Walking with Christ
permits us to conquer the waves that wish to overwhelm us. Contact with him in prayer helps us to
find solid ground in the midst of quicksand. The conquering Christ reminds us that no evil is
stronger than he, that there is no sin or temptation that cannot be put behind us, and that there is
no setback in health or business or disappointment in a loved one that cannot ultimately become a
new good when we walk in cadence with Christ.
Conversation with Christ:
times I experience all my human successes and
securities with such satisfaction that I
forget that in a moment
they could all be taken from me. In an instant, what was once
stable could turn into a stormy sea. What are these comforts
and goods to me,
if from the beginning they have not been for
you, have not honored you? Will I be able to
cling to them in eternity?
Forgive my superficiality in these moments. I seek now to
myself more firmly in you, the true and eternal rock of my life.
I will seek to remember the goals I have to achieve today for
eternity: holiness of life, fulfillment of God's will, and service of my neighbor.