"Sir, if I may ask You this favor, please do not go on past Your servant." —Genesis 18:3
Like Abraham, we can have the Lord right in front of us, but if we don't ask Him to stay, He may go right on past us. For example, when Jesus was walking on the water, He meant to pass the apostles by (Mk 6:48). But when they cried out to Him, Jesus "got into the boat with them and the wind died down" (Mk 6:51). Also, on resurrection day, when Jesus had reached Emmaus with His two disciples, "He acted as if He were going farther. But they pressed Him: 'Stay with us'... so He went in to stay with them" (Lk 24:28-29).
In some ways, Jesus appears to be reserved and quiet, "not crying out, not shouting, not making His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoldering wick He shall not quench" (Is 42:2-3). He won't force Himself on you. He'll let you ignore Him or even crucify Him. He often whispers (1 Kgs 19:12), and sometimes is silent (Mt 27:12, 14). If you don't want Him around, He'll leave, shaking the dust from His feet (Mt 10:14). Jesus respects our freedom, almost too much. He'll let us reject Him forever. He'll even allow us to choose to be separated from Him forever. That's called hell.
Ask Jesus to stay the night with you, and even the day. Ask Him to stay forever. He says: "Here I stand, knocking at the door. If anyone hears Me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house" (Rv 3:20). Invite Him in.
Prayer: Jesus, give me the grace to get rid of anything that prevents You from staying with me.
Promise: "He expelled the spirits by a simple command." —Mt 8:16
Praise: In obedience to God's call, St. Cyril gave up his life as a hermit to serve the Lord in more public ways.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Hearing God, or on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009
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