Days pass, and the years vanish, and we walk sightless among miracles.
A Jewish Prayer
What can help us deepen in attentiveness to the miracles that occur each day, all around us and within us? We often are so focused on our own agenda, issues, fears, or circumstances that we are not able to see the wonder in and of the present.
In the following story the disciples were described with the words their hearts were hardened; they couldn't see or have understanding about the miracle that occurred right in front of them, in which they participated. They couldn't "make sense" of who was in their midst. The story progresses and as their sight increases, their understanding deepens. God was there even when they didn't recognize it.
Pay attention to moments of wonder, of awe, of amazement, of peace. They can come in the middle of a crowd or in the height of a storm. Cultivate your sense of seeing and becoming more attentive to what God is doing.
Mark 6:45-56 NIV
Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
For Prayer and Reflection:
What did you hear or feel as you listened? A word? A phrase? A sensation?
How are the people, including the disciples, seeing and responding to Jesus? What do you think it means, “their hearts were hardened?”
Have you experienced this kind of hardening of your heart?