Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Midweek Meditation: "Nouwen on Discernment 4"

TITLE: Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life

Discernment as "Being Seen"

"I am struck by the way Jesus 'saw' Nathanael under the tree in the Gospel of John. Even before meeting him, Jesus said of Nathanael: 'Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!' When the two men met on the road, Nathanael asked Jesus with amazement: 'How do you know me?' Jesus answered him, 'Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.' Jesus's seeing through Nathanael under the fig tree was such a powerful act of discerning what was in his heart that it caused Nathanael to proclaim: 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!' To which Jesus remarked, 'You believe this because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these. . . You will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man (John 1:47-51)

This wonderful story about seeing through to the heart of things raises a deeper question: Do I want to be fully seen by Jesus? Do I want to be known by him? If I do, then a faith can grow that will open my eyes to heaven and reveal Jesus as the Son of God. I will see great things when I am willing to be seen. I will receive new eyes that can see the mysteries of God's own life, but only when I allow God to see me, all of me, even those parts that I myself do not want to see."

(Henri Nouwen, on "Embracing the Practice in Solitude and Community" in Discernment, New York: NY, HarperOne, 2013, 7)

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