May Everything In Me Honor You

In our readings today, we look in on different people who present themselves before the Lord: Cain and Abel in the First Reading from Genesis, and, in the Gospel, the Pharisees who come forward and begin to argue with Jesus.

Each day I am aware that I too come forward to present myself before the Lord. Like Cain, I could bring a collection of just some of the fruits of my life and labors, or like Abel, I could bring the finest aspects of my being, my talents, my prayers, my work, my life, and consecrate them to his service. The difference lies in the greater awareness and remembrance, deeper devotion and heart-filled honor that characterized the gifts of Abel to his Maker.

Like the Pharisees, I can demand that Jesus prove himself to me by performing for me signs to my satisfaction until I am convinced he is who he says he is, that he will do what he has promised to do. Or I can take Jesus at his word with utter trust and obedience.

Every one of us, every creature, stands before the Maker. How we stand there is what makes the difference. There is no expectation of perfection in these readings. Rather each person encounters God just as he is. Cain with whatever he has gathered in his heart up to that point. Abel with the deep devotion of one who is small but has given all he has to the Lord. The Pharisees whose hearts were slow to open to Jesus as the Messiah. All of them unfolding, changing and deepening, growing through the years. The rest of their stories, unknown to us, are lost to mystery. We too are people who grow beyond who we are at any given moment.

“May everything in me honor you, O Lord.” It is a prayer I have taken to saying quietly during the day. “May my eyes, my tongue, my memory, my imagination, my feet, my hands, and my heart, my thoughts, words, and desires, honor you, O Lord. All of me for you alone, Jesus. You alone.”

Today, when will you stand before the Lord? Will you encounter him in solitary moments of prayer? In struggle? In service to others? In relationships? Will he catch you by surprise as you read a book, watch a sunset, or listen to music? Will you find him on a bed of pain? In the midnight hours when you cannot sleep? Wherever it is this day that you find yourself consciously standing before your Maker, pray, “May everything in me honor you, O Lord.”

Kathryn James Hermes, FSP, is the author of the newly released title: Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, by Pauline Books and Media. An author and spiritual mentor, she offers spiritual accompaniment for the contemporary Christian’s journey towards spiritual growth and inner healing. She is the director of My Sisters, where people can find spiritual accompaniment from the Daughters of St. Paul on their journey.


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