We tend to hear people use the word ‘awesome’ a lot in casual conversation, but AWE is something so very precious, like discovering a priceless treasure. Awe is a gift of the Holy Spirit that enables us to see the glory of God, evoking in us a feeling of great wonder and profound reverence in an experience where we tend to find ourselves speechless, awestruck. To rediscover AWE is to rediscover God! In this post let’s open the Scriptures and ask Jesus to fill us with His Spirit of Wonder and Awe as we reflect on the infinite love and compassion of Our Lord.
This post is divided into sections. You may want to reflect on it a little at a time because AWE is born in quiet contemplation and with patience, as we savour little details that open our hearts and minds to the wonder of God.
The Incarnation and Birth of Jesus Christ
God descends from His throne to become man. God’s creatures have failed to obey His Law and now God will enter the world to reconcile mankind to Himself. An Angel by the name of Gabriel announces the Good News to a Virgin by the name of Mary. She is Chosen to be the Mother of God’s Only Son who will be conceived in her by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. The Virgin Mary will give birth to the Holy One that the Prophet Isaiah prophesied about.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
But Jesus, the Prince of Peace is not recognized upon His arrival and there is no room in the Inn for the Virgin Mary to give birth so she and her husband Joseph enter the cave of the nativity. Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour, Mighty God, will be born where the animals are being kept and in a manger where the animals feed Our Holy Lord will sleep as a newborn baby.
“She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:7
I am in AWE of your profound humility Almighty God! You have just entered the world and already You are embracing sacrifice and hardship. I shiver thinking of You, Our Lord and Saviour, already rejected by humanity, resting in the manger where the animals eat, while Mary and Joseph accept the ingratitude of their neighbours and the discomfort of their surroundings. The Holy Family, in a quiet cave, surrounded by the animals, embraces Our Holy Lord Jesus for the first time.
The Wise Men Come to Honour Him
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi (Wise Men) from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
To find Jesus the Magi followed a mystical star in the sky.
“The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2: 9-11
Think about how awesome it must have been for the Magi to know that a great event had happened. The King of the Jews, the Saviour of the World, had been born. Think about the wonder and awe they must have experienced seeing a star directing their footsteps to the very place where Jesus was. Suddenly the Star stops moving, they have found Him! They recognize they are in the presence of greatness and they bow down to adore and worship Our Holy Lord offering Him gifts of majesty. What joy! What wonder and awe!
The Slaughter of the Innocents
King Herod had instructed the Magi to tell him of the whereabouts of Jesus, but the Magi protected Jesus and did not return to give King Herod any information.
“When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.” Matthew 4: 2:16
An angel of the Lord warns Joseph in a dream that he is to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt. They would become refugees in a foreign land.
I am in AWE of the courage of Mary and Joseph. How they must have suffered knowing that there would be a mass murder of children because of King Herod’s desire to kill Jesus. I am in AWE of the patience and love you have for us Lord Jesus! You experienced rejection and the threat of violence right from the beginning of your time on earth, violence that You would ultimately succumb to, but nothing stops You from loving us!
The Wisdom of the Young Jesus
Jesus was only twelve years old when He was already amazing the high priests with His wisdom.
“Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” Luke 2:47
How awesome it must have been for Mary and Joseph to watch God’s Only Son, God Incarnate, grow from a child into a man.
“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” Luke 2:52
If you have not seen the movie the Young Messiah I would recommend it. This film attempts to portray what it must have been like to watch Our Lord growing up.
The Wedding at Cana and the Many Miracles of Jesus
Jesus performed many miracles when He was on earth. His first was at the Wedding at Cana where He turned water into wine. But it’s not just the miracle that I marvel at. There He is the Holy One, Author of Love, attending weddings alone with no Bride by His side. Jesus denies Himself and lives a life of self-sacrifice. He offered up His life for us, to teach us to love, to develop us into the people, the Bride/the Church, He will hold in His heart forever.
When the people saw the miracles He performed, they were in AWE!
He proved His divinity by the many miracles He performed: “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with AWE and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” Luke 5: 24-26
Jesus Prayed and Embraced Solitude
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus embraced solitude in order to pray. “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray.” Mark 1:35
When I left the business world (many years ago) because I felt Jesus calling me I embraced solitude for the first time in my life and at first, I will tell you the truth I didn’t like it. I felt alone and I became more and more lonely, but unbeknownst to me God had a plan and the silence in my life was a medium where WONDER AND AWE would be patiently born through prayer. I began to study the Scriptures and I slowly came to understand I was not alone, I was with Jesus and in the quiet of my heart God’s voice began to be discernible to me. Jesus said, “You are Mine.” And I rejoiced as I realized that I had found Him! It wasn’t a star that lead me to Jesus, it was the quiet in my heart, a heart finally recollected, waiting upon Him, desiring Him, longing for whatever God willed. And in that silence and in the reflection of His Word and in continuous prayer and contemplation I discovered I was in God’s AWESOME PRESENCE.
Pray and wait for God to reveal Himself, for He will and you will be in AWE OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU!
The Bread of Life
For many years I did not go to Church. I was not evangelized. I had not read the Word of God and although Baptized I had forgotten that the Eucharist is a miracle. I decided I would go on a pilgrimage to a place called Lourdes, France where I was told the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette. There I confessed my sins and returned to God’s Table. Outside the Sanctuary there were many processions and one day I saw the priest holding what looked to me like a “Golden Sun”. He was holding this golden receptacle up high and I asked Jesus “What is that thing?” And Jesus said to my heart “It is I, look carefully.” “It is you?” “How can that be?” I wondered. I tried to find my way through the crowd and slowly and surely I got close enough to see that inside this “Golden Sun” that the Church calls a “Monstrance” (I learned that later) I saw the Host, the Eucharist. When I saw the Eucharist I smiled and I understood. There He was, Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Paul used to caution the first Christians to not receive the Body of Christ without recognizing Him. “It is Jesus, look carefully!” Well you will not recognize Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with your eyes, but with faith and with Scriptural understanding you will.
“Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
“For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” John 6: 55-58
“Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” 1 Corinthians 11: 28-29
Currently the Catholic Church does not permit divorced people to receive the Holy Eucharist, and I would like to ask the following questions to Pope Francis: “Can Jesus not forgive people whose marriages have failed? Is His mercy not sufficient? Is divorce an ‘unforgivable sin’? Would Jesus not want to bring healing and love to divorcees? How can that healing occur if we deny the Sacraments? How can the Church be a safe haven to all families, always helping them to grow and develop spiritually if we tell them they are no longer welcome at the Table of God? How likely will it be that divorced parents will bring their children to Church if they are denied the Holy Eucharist? Are we not all sinners in need of the mercy of God?”
Let us confess our sins and approach Jesus in the Eucharist with hearts that are humble and contrite and let us with faith embrace Jesus in the Sacrament of Love with the WONDER AND AWE AND FAITH that He so desires.
I love You Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar!
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
It has been more than ten years now that I have been reflecting daily on the Passion of Christ and I will tell you a secret about my experience. The more I reflect on the Passion of Christ, the greater the mystery and the greater the power of this contemplation on my life.
If you want to experience AWE, then meditate on the Passion of Christ.
How can we ever fully understand the greatness of the Living God, Jesus Christ, giving Himself for the redemption of our sins?
When the Soldiers entered into the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, Jesus asked them “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18: 4-6
AWE is sometimes born in contemplation of the little details that others miss. Think about the fact that the soldiers that came to arrest Jesus ‘fell to the ground’ when they heard Jesus’ voice! The presence of God overwhelmed them and they fell to the ground! Did not their actions declare the truth! They were coming to arrest the Holy One, and their bodies prostrated themselves even though their minds were not yet aware of the divinity of Jesus.
How frivolous is the love of mankind towards their Holy Saviour! The people were thrilled at His miracles and on the Sunday before the Crucifixion they were singing “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:9 And then only a few days later “they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Luke 23:21
How AWESOME IS THE LOVE OF JESUS who allows the soldiers to take Him and torture Him and crucify Him! Jesus is The Sinless One, The Holy One, The Living God, Saviour of the World!
We see now the fulfillment of this prophecy: “He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Isaiah 53:3 “He was harshly treated, yet he submitted and did not open his mouth. He was silent like a lamb led to the slaughter…” Isaiah 53:7
Jesus is God and the majesty of God cannot be properly contemplated by the human mind. Imagine the Almighty God surrendering to death by His own creation. Only in Eternity will we understand the greatness of this divine sacrifice. I love You Jesus! You are my Heart’s Desire! You are AWESOME, HOLY ONE!
Jesus had told them that in three days He would rebuild the Temple and after three days in the tomb, Jesus rises from the dead!
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:27
Believe in Jesus! Have FAITH! Live in AWE of the greatness of God’s Promise of Everlasting life!
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Jesus instructed them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5
The Holy Spirit enables us to see God working in our world today protecting and saving lives as we love, forgive and pray for one another. Let’s ask God to help us to see His glory in the world as we strive to do God’s Will by being charitable, merciful and just.
Last night on my way home I saw a most beautiful sunset of bright fuchsia and I stood for a few moments in awe of the way God colours our world and supplies us with everything we need. We are the ones who disrupt nature, destroying our ecosystems, our environment and peace in our world with violence and war, but if we believe in God and truly have faith that Jesus will never abandon us, then we will never stop praying for His Holy Spirit to convince us of our sins and bring forth reconciliation and peace.
Please Join A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ. This is a Christian movement that is inviting all believers of Jesus to unite in a powerful daily prayer for the Mercy of Jesus. We stop in AWE OF THE GREAT LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST AS WE REMEMBER HIS PASSION EVERY DAY AT 3PM (In our local time zones) BECAUSE 3PM IS THE TIME JESUS DIED FOR US.
Holy Lord, “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” Psalm 65:8