Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
"Jesus himself also went up... but ... in secret"
Jesus said: “My time is not yet here, but the time is always right for you... You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast because my time has not yet been fulfilled” (Jn 7,6-8). Now what is this feast to which our Lord tells us to go up and whose time is always ready? The highest, truest feast, the supreme feast, is the feast of eternal life, which is to say the everlasting happiness where we shall always be face to face indeed with God. This we cannot have here below; but the feast that we can have is that of a foretaste of the one there: an experience in spirit of God's presence through an interior rejoicing, giving us a secret intimation of it. The time that is always ours is that of seeking God and pursuing this sense of his presence in all our works, life, willing and loving. This is how we are to rise up above ourselves and all that is not God, in all purity wanting and loving him alone and nothing else. This time is ready at every moment.
This truly festal season of eternal life is what every person desires with a natural desire since everyone naturally wants to be happy. But desire alone is not enough. We should seek after God for himself alone and search for him for his own sake. Many would dearly love to have a foretaste of that true and great feast day and they are miserable because it isn't granted them. When they don't have the experience of a feast day within themselves when they pray and don't feel God's presence, this disappoints them. They pray even less and do so with bad grace, saying that they don't feel God and that it is for this reason that action and prayer upset them. Now this is what someone should never do. We should never carry out any work with a zeal turned cold, for God is always present there, and even if we don't feel him yet he has always entered secretly for the feast.