Our earth is wonderful, indeed, for Jesus has come to stay with us. His mercy finds us here over and over again. Eternity is always interrupting, if we dare notice. The amazing yet ordinary things - the beauty, the sorrow in human experience and in all of creation - beckon to us and draw us to him, who is constantly seeking opportunities to engage us. And the needier we are; the more impossible our impediments, the greater the opportunity for Jesus’ graced entrée. The “horizon of the reign of God is immeasurable…and begins here, on this earth, and it is about this world because from the very beginning God's intent was nothing other than the world,”* a world that he longs to heal and sanctify more and more.
Day after day atrocities beyond imagining all over the world. And painfully, astoundingly, embarrassingly, disaster and mass murder have become ordinary occurrences. Our hearts numb, desensitized, inured to horror. And so we come to him; we bring each other, we bring the world in its suffering and despondency and seeming hopelessness, longing for the intrusion of his grace. Impeded, our tongues thick, not knowing how to speak our need and longing.
Christ Jesus assures us that he hears, he understands; that he is with us, he himself praying, articulating our desire in words beyond words. This is what our prayer is best of all: our desire groaned by Jesus for us, within us.
Photograph by Brother Brian. *Quotation by Gerhard Lohfink.