Do you ever wonder if your family or people in government, or even your friends on social media are living in the same reality as you? Are you longing for the unity that comes from living the same positive values and reality together? Wishing you could see deeper than the violence and lack of hope around us? Here is one step you can take.
Acts 17: 22-28
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For… as I looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, He who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things… so that they would search for God, if perhaps grope for Him and find Him, though indeed He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being. [NRSV]
Therese’s first encounter with ‘IN’ was during third grade when this tiny word sat by itself IN a ‘preposition’ jar made of glass. The rest of the words lingered further away on the blackboard –near, around, next to, by, across… But over time her experience of ‘IN’ deepened; until she realized just how often only this tiny, but meaningful, word would do – in love, in trouble, in a hurry, in my car, in pain, INternet, in labor, in a hurricane, in the name of the Father…
The word ‘IN’ can usher us into a most profound encounter with God, when we pray the ‘Sign of the Cross.’ The beginning of this prayer dares us to place ourselves within the presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as our ultimate reality. We can also plunge ourselves into the mutual love of the persons of the Trinity, the source of a life of holiness. And because Christ first became incarnate in our midst, we can experience a full awareness of being children of the Father, continuously plunged into the waters of our Baptism by the Holy Spirit, who stirs up these living waters. When we enter into this prayer, we embark upon an act of ongoing immersion into love. We dare to hope that all the moments of our day and every reality we encounter can be made holy. Our actions can then echo St. Paul in the Acts of the Apostles who declares, “IN him we live and have our being (17:28)”.
Faith Sharing Questions:
- What favorite place, room or chair do you often imagine or dream about BEING “IN”? Why is that a comfortable place for you?
- What is your experience of the Sign of the Cross as a prayer of immersion… in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?
- What does being IN a relationship with God mean to you? What does being “IN the world but not of the world mean for you?”