Yesterday, we pondered the greatness of God. Today, let us focus on God’s immanence. Immanence has to do with God’s presence among us. In Matthew’s gospel, he begins and ends with the concept of God’s presence. In the first chapter, we are told that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. In the conclusion, Jesus tells us that he is with us to the end of time. This is called an inclusio, which is like bookends. It was a way in which an ancient author highlighted important concepts within their writings.
I think it is common for us to picture God as some Zeus-like figure somewhere in the heavens. It is easy to think of him as distant and remote. However, God is with us. He endeavors to live our lives with us. He wants to be a part of our day-to-day existence.
He is with us in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit at baptism. However, I wonder how many of us have actually learned what it means to have the Holy Spirit within us. I am a middle-aged cradle Catholic, and I am just starting to understand the glory and magnificence of God within me. I am just starting to see what it means to trust in God; what it means to live life in the Spirit. It is such an amazing adventure! In some respects, it is like finding the missing piece within.
Now that I understand better, yet imperfectly, this living presence of God within me, I want to proclaim it from the mountain tops. I want everyone to understand the glory and beauty of God living within us. However, this is a relationship that I can only preach for it is the Holy Spirit who leads each and everyone of us on a unique adventure to the center of our being, and the center of the universe.
Spend some time today seeking the presents of God within you. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to you. Ask him how you can go deeper in this trusting symbiotic relationship of God and human. This relationship is different than that of Jesus and the father. They were one, but according to John’s Gospel, we are to spend our lives learning to become one as Jesus and the father are one. Ponder today what this oneness should look like. Ask him how you can live more fully in relationship with him.
Ms. Debra D. Weldon, O.P., MTS