Once when I was at a party, a group of people arrived. I couldn’t make out who they all were because they were too far away, but very quickly I recognized my friend by how she was walking and what she could of been wearing. I know weird right, but it happened. 😉
On another hand, when I receive an anonymous note from a family member, it is not hard to discover the author by the handwriting on the paper. Footfalls upstairs, a cough in the night, a cry at the back of church, the voice on the phone, all these little things that can quickly be associated with a person if you know them really well.
I was thinking about this the other day and how well I know my family and some of my friends because of how much time I’ve spent with them.
We long to spend time with the people we care the most about, and it is through this time spent together that we come to know each other more and deepen our relationship.
Yet how much time do I spend with the one whom I say I love the most, Jesus Christ?
Do I give Him as much of my time as I do to the people in my life whom I love? Or even half the time through prayer, Mass, and adoration? If I don’t spend time with Jesus, how can I expect to know His voice, recognize His leading footfalls, or see His handwriting in my life?
In John’s Gospel, the disciple whom Jesus loved was “reclining at Jesus’ side” and when he at one point had a question “leaned against Jesus’ chest” to ask (John 13).
This means the beloved disciple was so close to Jesus at the Last Supper that he could lean against Jesus’ chest, feel His warmth, see His eyes, and even hear the beat of His heart. The disciple that stayed close to Jesus, spent time with Him through His ministry all the way to the foot of the cross, could probably recognize Jesus anywhere.
This little passage in the Gospel made me wonder if the beloved disciple could even recognize the heart of Christ. What would that mean in my life to be able to recognize the very heart of Christ?
Recognizing the heart of Christ means recognizing the love of God around us. If we could come to know Jesus so well that we can recognize His very heart, life would come vibrant around us and overflowing with meaning and purpose. Each day would no longer be a monotonous routine, but an adventure to find God’s love in the little moments and guiding hand through every action.
A smile from a stranger becomes a smile from God. An inspiring quote becomes a random sticky note from Heaven. A decision finally becoming clear reveals itself as the leading footsteps of Christ. A little prick of the conscience to take action is recognized as the very voice of God.
When we have a relationship with Christ, we begin to recognize Him everywhere like I mentioned in a post before and our thoughts are continually lifted to Him just like they are brought back to the ones we love.
However, it takes time and devotion. Strong relationships aren’t built in a few days or with one high moment experience like we may have at a retreat. Deep relationships are grown over time through joys and struggles and being there even when you don’t feel like it.
The same is with Jesus and you.
It takes time spent in prayer, adoration, and Mass. Time spent together just you and Him, face-to-face, heart-to-heart. He longs for that relationship. He is waiting on the edge of His seat for you.