Today’s Gospel: John 1: 43-51
Countless times, I’ve thought the following: Ah, nice one, God. I totally see what your plan is and how you’re working. I’ll perceive signs everywhere, connect the dots, and come to my own conclusions about what God is doubtlessly doing. What I’ve found, though, is that I never have the complete picture of what God has in mind. When I try to tell God what his plan is, I’m really putting a limit on him. I’m not open to seeing how God works in unexpected ways that don’t jive with my vision.
Needless to say, I think I can relate to Nathaniel, and perhaps you can, too. Put yourself in his sandals for a minute: Your friend brings a man to you and mentions that he is the Savior who has long been prophesied. On top of that, this man is the son of a common carpenter, from backwater Nazareth. Nathaniel’s reaction (“can anything good come from Nazareth?”) strikes me as so human. Nazareth was a secluded, small village in Galilee. It was rather insignificant. So, it’s natural that Nathaniel seems aghast at hearing Philip’s declaration. Yet, prompted to “come and see,” Nathaniel goes to Jesus. When Jesus begins speaking to Nathaniel, the various prophecies click together in Nathaniel’s mind and he declares his belief in Jesus. Even though Nathaniel was initially taken aback by Jesus’ hometown, he didn’t close himself off from God’s plan. He took his doubts and went on to have a life-changing encounter with God.
We may have set ideas of how God “should” work—through which events and people his plan should be made manifest—but instead of clinging to our ideas, we can learn from Nathaniel. Letting go of our visions, we can go to Jesus and listen as he speaks to our hearts.
How am I putting a limit on God in my life?
God, your ways are far beyond my own. Please help me to be open to the immensity of Your will and plans.
Copyright 2018 AnneMarie Miller
Receive CatholicMom.com newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning!
* indicates required