Sometimes the daily readings are rich and meaningful, even when they are well known. Jacob’s story is fascinating to me at points and today in Genesis 28 amazing images are etched in my mind. I see him in the wilderness, resting his head on a rock for a pillow. I can visualize the ladder that reaches up to heaven from earth and I see endless angels ascending and descending. God appears and reassures Jacob: Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go….I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
Jacob awakens and now sees what he did not when he laid down for his rest: Surely the Lord is in this place–and I did not know it! Ah, Jacob was still learning to see God in all things and he surely recognized him. His pillow became a pillar–he anointed it with oil and made a vow to turn that stone into God’s house one day.
I have never used this passage in Ignatian contemplation but it would be a perfect one for me right now. Watching the angels climb up and down the ladder might spark interesting thoughts about the number of angels that have surrounded me these past six months. Hearing God promise to stay with me wherever I go would produce deep emotion I am sure. I have been considering imagining Jesus with me at various points over the last year as my illness became known and listening to the message he has for me. This might be the passage to use for it. Pillows made of stone can become pillars for praise. The hard times in our lives can be transformed into something holy if we but have eyes to see that God is in this place.
When has God been in a place where you did not recognize this holy presence immediately?
What hard thing is being transformed into a sacred spot for you?