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Come With an Open Mind – Br. John Braught

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Matthew 11: 25-27

The Son reveals the Father to those whom he chooses. Yet, Jesus says, the Father has hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants.

It is a well-worn image that those who are wise in their own eyes cannot see God because they are too attached to their own ideas. It’s well-worn because, when it comes to God, it’s quite easy for us to think we know who God is, and to place limitations on God, that is, decide beforehand what God can and cannot do. Fortunately, God cannot be put in a box.

I know this because at other times – usually when I’m despairing over some problem, weakness, or circumstance and I can’t see God anywhere – I’m able to lay aside my ideas about God, and to let God be God.

What usually happens? What is revealed when old ideas are cast aside?  I cannot tell you specifically what you will see. The Son reveals the Father to those whom he chooses:  individuals who seek God with an open mind.

What I can tell you is that God is really big. God is bigger than all the ways we typically limit God.  For example, God is bigger than the United States. God is bigger than the English language. God is bigger than anything our minds can fathom.  And God is even bigger than our problems. God is really, really, really, BIG.  And God is full of surprises.

Chapter forty-one of our rule, The Maturing of our Minds in Christ, states that “as our faith matures we come to recognize Christ’s hidden presence everywhere.” That’s because a maturing faith is paradoxically childlike. It is marked by openness to new ideas, points of view, and experiences. All of which enable us to see again our God, who knows neither time, nor place, nor limitation.

The Son reveals the Father to those whom he chooses. Will you come to the Son with an open mind so you can see?

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18 Comments

  1. Kathy on December 3, 2016 at 13:03

    This morning my three dog companions played exuberantly around me. I was reminded, by their joy, to appreciate the small and seemngly simple events in my life; I soaked up some of their joy. I believe God sends us the opportunity to receive joy each day if only we will open our eyes and see it. Your message today was so appropriate. Thank you!

  2. James Kovacs on December 3, 2016 at 12:50

    Thank you, Brother John! As I was reflecting on your words this morning, it was the “limitlessness” of God that seemed to resonate with me. One of the things I’m learning with right now is how God is revealed in our relationships; how that lack of boundary can be seen in the diversity of the people we love, work with, and serve in our daily life. In a time when I find myself increasingly more likely to dismiss the “otherness” of some people, I am being called to witness their holiness. Childlike wonder might just be the best vehicle to see someone in their best light, much like when a baby smiles at you even when you’re not at your best. Thank you again for a wonderful reflection this morning.

  3. Fr John E Harris-White on December 3, 2016 at 12:08

    Bro John,

    Thank you for your wise, God given words.

    As a priest in my eighties, I rejoice in that wonderful book entitled,, ‘Book of Joy,. Conversations between the Dalai Llama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as they joke and speak in their eighteenth year.

    Bro John your words as so true, God is bigger and greater than we can imagine, yet became man for love of humanity.

    God Bless you.

    Fr John.

  4. Nicki on December 3, 2016 at 12:04

    Thank you Brother John, for this inviting meditation. “Despairing over some problem”, is often my state when I’m most likely to get a glimpse of God’s attentiveness, when I remember to give the problem to God. The release from despairing and realization that it is only with God’s help that all of my decisions are made, once again shows me God’s presence, at a moment when I was moving farther away from God. This mystery is like a syncopathic dance. God is love.

  5. marie on December 3, 2016 at 11:33

    When I was three years old I had a severe case of polio. From that point on until this very day it has sought dominance in my life like a treacherous monster…and yet, as never before I am enlivened to God’s enormity, sovereignty, and magnificent transcendence. He is bigger than polio. He is bigger than all the horrid problems in this world. He is bigger than and has power over alcoholism, MS, and loneliness. I adore our Majestic God Almighty. I love that He puts eternity in the hearts of those who dare to trust HIM! May this be an unprecedented time of unity and love within His Body; and may we all promote the faith and joy of one another!

  6. Michael Neal Arnold on December 3, 2016 at 10:38

    I especially appreciate the word (and thought) for today. The theme reminds me of a priest friend whose email address is “play for God”. It is remarkable that the older and more experienced I become, the less able I am to define what God is. And, I am just fine with that – maybe even more remarkable.

    For me, I think the term “boundary” works a little better than “limitations”. But that is probably putting too fine of a point on it.

  7. Christina on December 3, 2016 at 09:35

    Here’s a conundrum.In the midnight hours, I pondered the following:
    A young Muslim woman who came to this country for an arranged marriage – perhaps two years or so ago. She has been brutally abused by her husband, who is under a restraining court order to have no contact with her or her 14 month old son. // She struggles with language, and though she had friends at the Mosque, their husbands have forbidden them from having anything to do with her. The husband is accompanied 24-hours a day to ensure that he has no contact with her. However, he drives past her home constantly but he denies doing this and IT is confirmed by his brother who is his 24-hour a day security. She is totally isolated. His court case comes up in the new year. (It was revealed that he had a previous marriage with the same outcome)
    My heart breaks for her, but what can I do Perhaps as John writes: It is in the hands of God and I cAn only add her to my prayers. Christina

  8. Kathleen A. Hart on December 3, 2016 at 05:58

    Amen!

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  10. Suzanne E. Benson on June 28, 2016 at 12:54

    Scipture says that my thoughts are not God’s thoughts and His thoughts are not my thoughts. We must seek Him in everything we see and do.

  11. Paul on June 11, 2016 at 21:54

    I pray that I may “come to recognize Christ’s hidden presence everywhere” — a concept with which I am grappling. Everywhere? … … I love SSJE, sending me down new roads every day. Thank you, Brother Braught, for this thought-provoking sermon.

  12. Leonard on June 11, 2016 at 19:56

    Brother John B
    What a great vision. Blessings

  13. Ruth West on June 11, 2016 at 10:29

    Br. John, I have been thinking about the fact that our Christianity is an upside-down-religion. The last shall be first and the first last; God honors the weak, and satisfies the hungry and thirsty. And in this homily, He has hidden things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. What an awesome God, who reveals himself to the least of us! I pray that today the Father, through the Holy Spirit,will grant to me an open mind to see, to hear, to understand His will.

  14. Clark on June 11, 2016 at 08:36

    Thank you Br. John for concise words which propelled my memory back four score years to a little boy, potentially fatally ill, to whom God whispered and promised and has accompanied- despite the boy’s meanderings- faithfully. May the joy of God’s glory abound!

  15. Ronald on June 11, 2016 at 08:14

    For far too long we put God in a confining space (box). When Jesus died on the cross the curtain or vail, that covered the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn to shreds. For me this This is a very powerful image as it leads me to an unconfined God. He was released from the confines of human thought, Alleluia

    • Marie on December 3, 2016 at 08:23

      Ronald, this is a very powerful image indeed! Thank you, and thanks to Br. John!

  16. Mary on June 11, 2016 at 07:14

    So easy to be limited in my thinking! Thank you Brother John for reminding me to let God be God and commit my plans to him.

  17. Rick Porter on June 11, 2016 at 07:03

    It is so difficult for me to be ever mindful that, when thinking about my insolvable problems, I am like an unprepared freshman enrolled the first day in an advanced science class. Even after studying the Word, attending church and conferences, going on retreats and participating in weekly Bible studies, I can praise God for the miracles in my life but I am no closer to understanding God or recognizing His will for me. I don’t know how He works.

    I do know that He is love and that He is and has been there for me in the most troubling times. And I know that some important things I believed about our faith were just wrong. And I am so thankful that the Lord has opened my eyes to this blindness.

    In His way in His time and always in love. God bless

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