April 2, 2020
“You do not know Him, but I know Him.” These words that Jesus said in today’s Gospel are hard to hear, especially for the people to which He is speaking. Clearly Jesus knows God because He is God! He is the second person in the Trinity. Yet, He makes a very direct accusation to the people He is talking to when He tells them that they don’t know God. This is a statement only God Himself could justly make, but I believe it is beneficial for each of us to ask ourselves in the depths of our hearts if we know God, or do we know about God. Too often we become familiar with the definition of a word and loose sight of the true meaning.While only we can answer the question for ourselves it’s good to reflect on the ways which we can come to know God.
The Catechism tells us that the desire for God is written on the hearts of all men because we are created by God and He continually calls us to Himself. As a part of this call God has made many ways which we can know Him such as through His creation, and through each human person because we are made in His image and likeness. However our understanding of God is limited in these experiences because they are only reflections of God they are not God Himself.
They best way to come to know God is through prayer. Prayer is absolutely indispensable and without I do not believe we can say we know God, but only know of Him. Just as if we were getting to know another person we do so not from second hand information but from direct interaction with the person themselves. We are blessed in that we have many various expressions and forms of prayer that allow us to encounter God, many of which are still available to us during this time of challenge due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
A few examples would be to prayerfully participate in the live streams of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass found on the St. Joan of Arc website, Lectio Divina, praying various devotionals such as the Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Each of us has unique difficulties during this time but I pray that we are able to use this time to encounter God regularly so as to more fully come to know, love, and serve Him.
April 1, 2020
In today’s Old Testament reading from the Book of Daniel, three young men Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (also known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) defy King Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship a statue he had made. Threatened with being cast into a white hot furnace they boldly refuse the order and fearlessly profess their confidence that God can deliver them from the King’s grasp. Whether or not they will be rescued they do not know, but they will not bow in worship of the King’s idol. What great courage and fidelity!
The three holy youths are thrown into the furnace, but the fire does not harm them. “They walked about in the flames singing to God and blessing the Lord.” Dn 3:24. The trio is saved by one who “… looks like a son of God.” Dn 3:92. Every Sunday, the Church unites in praise of God during Morning Prayer by praying their canticle of praise. As we imitate them in their praise of God, may we also imitate them in their fortitude and faithfulness.