On my way into the office each day, I drive with the radio on. I don’t listen to the news, it hurts my heart too much and besides, I still read a newspaper. I don’t listen to Catholic Radio either, as it doesn’t come in very well in this area. (I have a FM radio, no satellite radio.) Given the circumstances, I’ve chosen to listen to a local Christian Station that has very little interruption to the music. No traffic updates, no news, no ads and very little talking from radio hosts. Primarily just music.
A week ago, on Thursday morning, a song came on the station and it’s one that I’ve heard for several years and I found myself singing along. Some of you may know the song, “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. The premise of the lyrics wondering what it would be like to be in the presence of Jesus. The lyrics include: “Surrounded by Your glory, what would my heart feel? Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of you be still? Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees, will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine.”
The words got me thinking, and I realized how fortunate I feel to be Catholic. I really don’t have to imagine what I would do if I was in the presence of Jesus, so much as I need to realize that I am in the presence of Jesus. One of my heroes, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, often quoted Matthew 25: 40, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ As Catholics we are given the corporal works of mercy—feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned,shelter the homeless, visit the sick, and bury the dead. We know that by performing these works, we recognize Jesus in our brothers and sisters. We know that every time we participate in a Sacrament, we have an encounter with Jesus. We are in the presence of Jesus. Jesus is all around us all the time, we need to have the eyes to see, to recognize and to realize his presence.
So, I asked myself, what do I do when I realize the presence of Jesus in my life? Often, I speak a word of gratitude. I will smile. I’ll laugh or cry from delight or tenderness or sorrow. My heart will feel like it’s going to burst, or sometimes my heart just breaks for the other. Sometimes it’s just a quiet moment. The recognition of Jesus brings me to the moment, to the other, to myself, and to God. If I could just realize it more often. How about you? How does your heart feel when you recognize you are in the presence of Jesus? Do you dance? Do you stand? Do you kneel? Or can you only imagine?