Several times over the past week, both in readings and in homilies at Mass, the beautiful and mystifying truth has presented itself that God loves us, each individually and personally, in the most passionate way, that He longs for us to turn to Him, and that He pursues us avidly in His desire for us.
When something comes at me that way, especially in the realm of my spiritual life, it’s a pretty definite signal that it’s something I should be thinking about. It becomes one of those things that my mind turns over and over, even when I’m not actively thinking about it. It becomes one of those things that has me, finally, asking God what it is I’m supposed to learn from or do with this “spiritual earworm.”
And then, if I’m listening, the response comes.
This morning, at Mass, I was thinking first about how grateful I was to be there — my attendance at daily Mass was interrupted last week because I was virus-y and again for a couple of days this week because of extremely cold and windy weather. As I began my prayer in preparation for Holy Communion, I thought about how circular this experience is: Jesus wants to come to us, and in our preparation we invite Him. He’ll never force His way in, but His grace is still compelling if we are open to it. He is the only one who can come to us in this way, and He so wants to be with us, but only at our invitation — and yet He is exactly what we need and all that we need.
And an old, somewhat whimsical phrase popped into my head. “I only chased him until he caught me.” I found myself smiling as I moved forward to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. I need to pursue Him until He catches me. That little twist of thought is both humorous and very profoundly true. He will not force me to be His own — but He so wants to catch me, if only I will pursue Him.
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