In these or similar words ...

Dear Jesus,
How do you do it? I have prayed this week with the readings and I watch, as your encounters with the religious and political leaders grow tenser. I see how you increasingly threaten them, as you grow more critical of them. And what draws me to you even more is the calm peace you have about you.

I watch you face the people in authority who don’t trust you. You look them in the eye, confront them, and raise your voice. I am usually frightened by anger but not your anger here. It seems right. You seem so clear on what is right and what is wrong, and you have no fears about your own safety. It seems as though your only thought is to be true to the person God called you to be.

Your own sense of who you are has freed you to serve God in ways I can’t imagine. I feel so limited by my fears and trepidation, and yet so drawn to the freedom I see in you, the freedom to serve God.
Help me, Jesus, to see where God is calling me to serve. I see so many things that are wrong or unjust in the world, in my country and city, even in my family. But I am afraid. How can I change things? How can I learn to confront? Maybe more important, what is God calling me to do?

As I watch you, dear friend Jesus, I grow in love for your strength and the freedom you have in the way you serve God. I am so drawn to that. I want that ability to serve God unencumbered by all of my fears. You seem to have such a sense of who you are and how you are being called by God to serve. I want so much to be courageous enough to confront the structures and authorities I see that are wrong. But Jesus, I’m afraid. Confronting brings back frightening memories that need healing, and I need to feel your love and freedom to serve as the core of my own. I’ve never been a fighter, only someone who slinks from conflict.

But as I stay with you this week, I see that the constant confrontations with the authorities seem to give you a sense of greater peace and firmer resolve. It’s as if it is becoming clearer to you exactly who you are and what God is calling you for.

That’s what I want, Jesus. I want to be able to put my head up and, like you, look people in the eye as I challenge them. I want the courage to speak up for those who need help. I want the courage to stay by your side in all of this; to work like you, for justice; and to bring good news to the poor.
Thank you for sharing so much of your life with me. I feel my love and my connection with you increasing as I get to know you each day. Thank you for inviting me to be with you on this journey. Give me the courage I need to walk it as you do.

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