About 9 years ago I arrived home from work and walked straight to the armoire where our T.V. was kept. Without saying a word I pulled the plug to the T.V. from the wall and carried it to the garage as my wife stared in amazement.
It was the first time I intentionally chose to become the spiritual leader of our family. We had discussed over and over that we should cut back on the amount of time we spent in front of the TV and had even given it up several times for lent. Looking back on it, I realize the Holy Spirit was definitely nudging me forward to take a leap and lead.
At that time I had been married for about 4 years and we had just welcomed our first son into the world. Life had changed for us, but we still held on to what was comfortable. Each evening my wife and I would both come home from long days at work and routinely sit in front of the television together for 3-4 hours. We were too tired to do anything else and it felt like a just reward for a hard day’s labor.
What About the Cowboys Game?
At that time I was a sports fanatic, so packing my TV away in the garage was not an easy decision. I kept up with all of the statistics of my favorite players and watched their games and then the highlights of their games… over and over. I could recite facts and figures off the top of my head, but I didn’t know these athletes… I mean personally.
This is the same way that I approached my Catholic faith. I knew about Jesus… where he lived, what he preached, the way in which he was killed, but I still didn’t know Him.
Throughout Scripture we see that those who encountered Jesus, even if it was just to touch his garment, were changed forever. They could not keep this encounter to themselves, even if He asked them to. We also see it in the way Our Blessed Mother responded to her unique encounter with the living God in her womb. She ran to her cousin, Elizabeth, to share with her the presence of the Lord.
When I made the decision 9 years ago to lead my family, it was my response to an encounter with Him. Little did I know He is always seeking an encounter with you and I, and it is our daily response that matters. God holds up His mother to show us how to respond the best and He continues to provide examples of this encounter through the lives of the saints.
We encounter and bump into Jesus in the Sacraments of the Church, through Holy Scripture, and each other. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s quote has always pricked my conscience when she said that she encountered “Jesus in his most distressing disguise” when she served the poor. She was able to see the dignity of each person she came across because they are made in the image of God… then she responded.
You only have to look so far as a crucifix to see what this type of response demands. However, your story and your response to this encounter is unique and surprising.
I encourage you today to listen intently for how Our Lord will encounter you and decide now that you choose to intentionally respond, no matter the demands.
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