Stewardship Spotlight: Perceiving the Subtle Signs of God

A long-time parishioner recently shared, “What draws me to God are things that are quite subtle–not being hit with a thunderclap of faith.”

A new year provides abundant opportunities for reflection and reenergizing our spiritual life. At the beginning of January we celebrated Epiphany and the magi’s astounding discovery of the Christ Child. Like the magi, we too can have moments of insight or realization. We are called to recognize the epiphanies which God leads us to by keeping an open, prayerful heart full of deep awe and gratitude.

By example, the parishioner recalled a scene at Saint Helen from decades ago:

A young child was lost in play at the feet of adults conversing together after Mass. I was struck by the child’s innocence of weaving his toy trucks between the shoes of Monsignor Meaney and observing the pastor’s delight. It is that same sensation of joy that grandparents experience in their own family, and that I realized priests or other religious sacrifice to serve others.

These subtle tableaus are gifts from God that are all around us. The parishioner’s epiphany stimulates our own gratitude and can prompt us to reflect on our spiritual path and service to others.

Our message series, “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” beckons us. As Jesus called to his disciples, “Come, and you will see.” (John 1:39), he also asks of them–and of us–“What are you looking for?” (John 1:38) While we search for that “thunderclap of faith,” we can be gifted with whispers of insight from observations of joy, even scenes of pain or suffering, or perhaps fleeting insights about an experience from decades ago.

In this new year, let us pray for attention to the subtle signs all around us–the epiphanies God places before us. Our parishioner’s insight continued, “Everybody is on a journey, and it is a personal journey. After a while you have to realize you are an individual and are seeking a personal relationship with God…and perhaps a mission, to which I am responsible. We have to keep looking for it.”

Our personal relationship with God always gives way to our relationship with the world around us, the “mission territory” for all of us today.

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