Today’s Gospel offers a good “check-up” for our hearts. I may outwardly be “with Jesus” in my exterior actions—praying, giving alms, observing Lenten penances. But I can do these things without being “with him” in my heart. If my heart is not fully turned toward God at each moment, I am “against him,” not able to “gather” with him, and in fact may be “scattering” those he is calling back to him.

What does it mean that God gathers, and that we gather with him? I think Jesus names it in his reference to the “finger of God.” The finger of God points out the path, touches and heals us in our most painful wounds, encourages and unites, and thereby gathers us close to his heart.  When we do something “by the finger of God,” we point out the path to God, heal, encourage, and unite those around us. We gather them back to the heart of Jesus. We cannot do this if we are not first gathered, fully turned toward God in the depths of our being, allowing him to touch every part of us. Are you with Jesus, or against him?

—Rachel Fitzgibbon serves as Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.