Father Steven Reilly, LC
podcast version here.
Jesus said to the
crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the
west you say immediately that it is going to rain
-- and so it does; and when you notice
that the wind is blowing from the south you
say that it is going to be hot -- and
so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to
interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why
do you not know how to interpret the present
time? Why do you not judge for yourselves what is
right? If you are to go with your opponent
before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the
matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you
over to the judge, and the judge hand you
over to the constable, and the constable throw you
into prison. I say to you, you will not be
released until you have paid the last penny."
Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are here with
me. I have come to honor and adore you. Your
love sustains me. I want to love you more
Petition: Lord, allow me to comprehend your
providence more deeply.
1. Seeing Signs: Jesus expresses some indignation
with the spiritual obtuseness of his listeners; in other words,
they don’t get it! When it comes to earthly
matters, they can put two and two together in
an almost infallible manner. A dim dullness, however, has the
upper hand when the spiritual realm is broached. Why?
Possibly because they were not bothering to ponder what
the sign of Jesus’ presence, miracles and words really
meant. They remained on the superficial level without plumbing the
depths. Superficiality inhibits our own spiritual progress as well.
Seeing signs isn’t so much a matter of being
able to pick out the shape of a tabernacle or
cross in a passing cloud, but of deep and
prayerful consideration of the love of God in our
2. God’s Presence: People who live a life of
consistent prayer are much more in tune with God’s presence.
Where others see coincidence, they see providence. This gives
them a profound sense of peace. They know that
God is in charge and that they don’t have to
figure out everything for themselves. The world doesn’t rest
on their shoulders, but on God’s. So instead of
complaining or worrying, they live in an atmosphere of
trust and acceptance.
3. Paying Attention: God’s providence guides all things.
We know this through faith and sometimes he sends
a sign to say, “Yes, I’m indeed here.” Once a
Legionary priest was driving down the road in Virginia
and his thoughts were taken up with a difficulty
he was having with a particular person. “How should I
handle this,” he asked himself. A car pulled out
in front of him. Virginia is known for its
high number of vanity license plates, and this one left
him scratching his head. The license plate read “CARITAS”,
which is Latin for “charity.” Was it just a
coincidence? He couldn’t deny that this was the answer he
was looking for. The signs that invite us to
be more Christ-like are the ones to which we
need to pay the most attention.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, the times I really don’t pick up
on the signs you send me are when they challenge
my resistance to your grace. Help me to overcome
my spiritual superficiality and perceive your presence in my
Resolution: I will try to be prompt
in following the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.