This post was originally written on Tuesday, September 13, 2016
St. John Chrysostom, pray for us.
I began prayer time today by listening to Bishop Robert Barron’s Homily on this weekend’s Gospel (Luke 15:1-32), which reflects on the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. It is such a powerful insight on three different ways of being lost, as well as three different ways of being found by God. If you have not listened to this homily already I would encourage you to do so (see link below). (A Coin, A Sheep, A Son, 2016)
He tells us that allowing yourself to be found by God is an important way to approach prayer and one which we tend to forget. I include myself in this when I say that we constantly fall into the trap of thinking that we are the ones in search for God, and yes we “search” for God to a lesser extent, but truly, as these three parables demonstrate, it is God who searches almost irrationally to find even those counted among the least. Even in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, it is the father (God) who RUNS TO MEET the Son, even when he is still far off. It is God who diligently seeks, finds and rejoices to the fullest when we have been found.
I often think back to how my little girl responds to certain situations to try and get a visual on what the interaction between God and I should be like. He has given me a living example of what “childlikeness” is and I hope to learn as much as I can from her while she is still little! This morning gave me a beautiful example of what seeking, finding and allowing yourself to be found looks like. My little girl (15 months old) was running around the living room, and stopping every few steps to “hide,” and I was crawling around the floor “finding” her. There was a look of sheer joy on her face as I would get closer and closer and she would giggle uncontrollably. There were times that she would keep running a little farther at these moments, but sometimes she just stood there, giggling and waiting to be caught…to be found. It was during these moments she would giggle even more, which in turn made my heart overflow with joy.
God uses even the smallest person to teach us big lessons. I think He allowed me to experience this moment today to give me a glimpse at His joy in finding me, and the joy that is available to me when I allow myself to be found. When we allow ourselves to be found, to just BE with our Father, there is much rejoicing in heaven and in our hearts too. As Bishop Barron says in his homily, “God is the one that searches for us…our quest [for God] is but a pale echo, a vague reflection of God’s passionate, over-the-top, unrelenting quest for us…I think your whole spiritual life will change once that idea really gets into your heart.”
May you allow yourself to be found.
Barron, Bishop Robert. “Homily: A Coin, A Sheep, A Son.” Word on Fire, Bishop Barron’s Podcast, 14:18. http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/homily/a-coin-a-sheep-a-son/5264/ (accessed September 13, 2016).