Grace to you!
Drawing from Luke 11:29-32, I look at the benefits of having a positive, open, and clear mind in appreciating the good.
How do you feel being around people who hardly see the good in anything? Don’t they demotivate you? Do they inspire you?
A negative minded attitude can be a stumbling block to the practice of virtue. It could be a sign of spiritual close-mindedness.
In our spiritual life, we notice that when we are open-minded, we see beauty all around us. We can easily see and recognize the beautiful works of God.
When our spiritual perception is tented, we tend to see things in less beautiful ways. Or rather, we tend to be negative in our appreciation of the good we see.
For instance, a chronic liar believes everyone lies most of the time. A cheat believes everyone cheats. There is an element of what psychologists call projection in many of us. We project our fears, perceptions, behaviors, or ways of living on others if we are not self-aware and open-minded.
Imagine what happens when our spiritual eyes are open to the beauties of the Lord’s workings around us? Did you know that even in human brokenness, just like in the shame of the cross, one with an open eye and faith, the spiritual sense of perception, could see the beautiful—grace—written all over it? There are the beautiful miracles and providence of God around us.
The Lord Jesus condemned a section of his audiences in strong terms. His reason was that he performed the miracle of healing a dumb person reported as also possessed by evil spirits. Many of the people marveled at the incredible and beautiful work of God. "Some of them said, ‘He [Jesus] casts out demons by Be-elzebul, the prince of demons’; while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven” (Lk 11:15-16).
The Lord used the incident to point us to the importance of not seeking for signs. “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah” (Lk 11:29).
In following the Lord, may we embrace him and not merely worship him on the condition of a miracle or a sign. If we are open-minded, we will see that something greater than Jonah, something more breathtaking, is already here. The Lord is continually reveling and continuously healing. God with Us—Emmanuel.
I am praying for the grace to see the good in everything and live a life of praise unto God. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Lent Week 1: Jn 3:1-10; Lk 11:29-32]
Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections for the season of Lent your individual spiritual edification. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations. .