Immersing Ourselves in the Present Moment

01-03-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewsk

We know there is an element of Catholic confusion this time of year as we celebrate Christmas, then finding Jesus teaching in the temple, then Epiphany, then the Baptism of the Lord. Each of those is intermixed with the secular observance of the holiday season including shopping, partying, New Year celebrations, school holiday and then back to school time. As if that isn’t enough occupying our time, we then toss in a dandy snowfall to help limber our backs and hone our winter driving skills. In the midst of all of this, we are continually encouraged to keep focused on matters of faith.

So, as we live in the A.D. which is translated, from the Latin “anno domini” into “year of our Lord.” Living in the present, we need to remember that all of our days are blessed. We need to be mindful of the fact that no matter the last digits of the date, each day is blessed by God. Part of our discipline of living in the present means keeping our minds fixed on what God is asking us to meditate upon now.

Rather than being overwhelmed by the secular distractions and the confusing chronology of our religious observances, we need to capitalize on the blessings we are invited to focus on with each and every passing day. Some of those days have more significance than others, but we do remember that each day is a gift. This weekend, for example, as we consider the visit of the three Magi, we know we are invited to consider not only what Jesus has given us, but rather, what gifts we present to Him. We are given this occasion to realize that our Lord desires our best, even those things which go beyond monetary value. Maybe we will consider how we give to our Lord and His church by being generous with our time, talent and treasure.

There are moments in life which we hoped would never end. Those moments when we, or the people we were with, seemed so real that we wanted that experience to last forever. Now, those moments endure in our memories, never to be duplicated or replicated. Again, in a similar way, that is our God’s invitation in these grace-filled days. He wants us to open our minds and hearts for the possible and likely experience which fill us with so much joy and peace. While we deepen our belief in the power of the Holy Spirit, we know these blessed moments are awaiting us in the presence of God. And so we find ourselves taking advantage of prayer in church, at home, or otherwise to put ourselves into God’s presence awaiting the blessings He has in store for us. Now that we have turned the page, consider making a commitment to yourself during this Year of Mercy to live in the presence of the Lord in very intentional ways to truly appreciate living in the A.D.