Tag Archives: Holman Hunt

4 June: Make your home in me.

Some years again when reflecting the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector, I imagined, in my prayer,
that I was Zacchaeus in the tree and Jesus stood looking up at me and saying to me “I want to stay at
your house”. My reply to him was “I have no home”.

It is true that as a priest I have moved from presbytery to presbytery, from place to place. The last place I called home was when I lived with my Mum and Dad and brothers and sister in Clapham, before I went away to school. I was part of a family. I had a sense of belonging.

Many people in life move many times, because of their job or perhaps they have traveller blood in them and are always on the move.

‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.” The loving Father, Jesus our brother and the Advocate, the Spirit desires to
make their home with us. They wish to abide or live in us. Home is a relationship of love. Am I willing
and ready to welcome God into my home, that is into my heart.? Am I prepared to allow God to live or
abide in me?

We are very familiar with the Holman Hunt’s painting “The Light of the World.” A copy can be seen in St. Paul’s Cathedral. It shows the figure of Jesus preparing to knock on an overgrown and long-unopened door, illustrating Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with Me”. The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside. Jesus might be persistent in his knocking at the door of our heart but will come in when invited. We need to open the door.
Before he returned to the Father, Jesus promised that the disciples would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. This is an ideal time to invite the Father, Son and Spirit into us so that they make a home in us.

You could pray this prayer of St Augustine to the Holy Spirit.

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may be holy.

From Canon Anthony Charlton, St Thomas’, Canterbury.


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14th March – Jesus is God saying this is who I am for you

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The Incarnation is not a result of God’s first aid kit; but God could not have created beings mercylogoequal to God, the essence of God is total transcendence; it is much more than God being primus inter pares but in becoming “equal” to us, in emptying himself, Christ claims equality with us in such a way that we have equality with him, through intimacy. God’s presence is throughout creation, but only in the human heart is this presence able to be experienced as intimate. Mercy and justice have met, peace and goodness have embraced in a way infinitely more profound than simply seeing it as “putting things right”. Jesus is God saying this is who I am for you – simply another way of saying I love you.

Modern advertising makes offers of things good for us – but always end with that ungodly statement – conditions apply! Everything in God is whole and total. God never applies conditions. Some ask, why does God allow suffering, injustice and inhumanity? If God wants us to say a valued yes to what is offered there must be possibility of saying no. We turned away – whether through embarrassment – they hid because they were naked – or through a blunt no thanks! We turned our back and walked away. But we cannot walk away from God; instead of my seeing God in front of me what I long for with 320px-Hunt_Light_of_the_World[1]all my heart; God is seeing me as the apple of his eye, and so follows me into my sin and selfishness – behold I stand and knock [Holman Hunt] – waiting for when God gets through to me with the concern: you are much better than this! Hearing this and taking it in is the first stage of repentance – it is turning and going home. In everyday terms it is wanting to experience love as forgiveness and celebrate it through an invitation [inner awareness of wanting to go] to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Part of the Good News is all humans – who share the humanity of Christ, and now share his divinity – are so destined. We start by letting the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus be itself and not what we make of it. Being human is the key letting us into experiencing being loved by God and wanting to say thank-you, aware that we already belong before ever we did anything about it. As Scripture says in God we live and move and have our being which is the activity of the Spirit poured into our hearts. For as long as we are turned away from the truth of the Incarnation – to that extent will Creation remain an unfinished symphony.


Light of the World by William Holman Hunt at – http://www.bg-blog.ru/comments.php?id=555 in public domain.


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