Saturday, February 17 — Presence — John 17:20-26

“As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
    Again, we are reading from Jesus’ final prayer according to the Gospel of John. This time, we pick it up right in the middle as he is praying for all of the people who would follow him. He prays that they may feel as close, as intimate, as united with God as Jesus was. He prays for us, that we may feel God’s presence with us in a very real way throughout our lives. 
    It is often easy to feel God’s presence when we are listening to a choir sing a beautiful rendition of Handel’s Messiah. It is easy to feel as though God is near when we are on a retreat and able to slow down to reflect on our lives. God feels most present with some people when they are enjoying creation or reading a thought-provoking book. 
    During this journey in the wilderness of Lent, we are called to reflect on the more mundane moments of our faith. God is reaching toward us in every moment, but we do not always recognize it! We do not always seek God’s presence, rarely out of ill-intentions; rather, many times it is out of forgetfulness. We are called to seek God’s presence in the everyday moments of our lives, not just the extraordinary moments where we expect to feel united with God. What are the moments in your everyday life where you might be missing or overlooking the presence of God? How do you experience God’s presence in your life? 

Loving God, you give us so many gifts in our lives. We are so grateful for the gift of your presence that is with us even when we are unaware of it. Open our eyes and hearts to see you in our everyday moments. Stir our hearts, O God, and show us that you are always reaching toward us, seeking to unite with us. Amen.