Online Retreat Guide - Week 22
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Jesus Shares His Message

Guide: Let the Word Penetrate

This week we seek to know Jesus more intimately by entering into the depth of his words. Lovers listen. Lovers devour the words of the other. This week we want to come to savor the words of Jesus and let them penetrate our hearts.

When Jesus’ turn comes to read in the synagogue in his hometown, he picks up the words of the prophet Isaiah, which must have been part of his prayer for years.

“The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen’” (Luke 4:18–19).

When Jesus begins his preaching in Matthew’s Gospel, he looks out and sees the crowd that gathers to hear him. They are not the spiritually rich. They are weary and they are full of mourning. Justice is something they can only hunger and thirst for. And they are the ones reviled and rejected by self-righteous religious folks. Jesus announces to them that they are truly blessed by God.

We can’t help but fall more deeply in love with Jesus as we see how his mission takes him to the heart of our life’s struggle. He offers us good news and freedom. If we had expected Jesus to be saying that we have to be holy before we come to God, we are quite surprised when we actually chew his words. His preaching gives us such a powerful picture of God’s love for us, precisely in the midst of our poverty and powerlessness. And his message contains the clear and all encompassing commandment to love one another the very way God loves us.

This week, let us become familiar with the message that comes from the heart of Jesus. Read the Scripture readings this week very carefully. Commit them to memory. Imagine the scenes, the people, their lives, their reactions.

From morning until night this week, in the midst of all we do, in all those background times, we can let the words of Jesus console us. Especially in the places where I might feel captive and in need of freedom, I can feel his presence. I can become so conscious of his being with me throughout this week as I show mercy and try to be a peacemaker. I can hear his words of assurance and blessing when I feel quite spiritually poor and discover I can’t depend on my strength but only on him.

Use the resources to get started. Lovers listen. As we let his words echo around in our life this week, our hearts will be drawn ever closer to his. And our desire for this union will grow this week.

Consider sharing the graces you have received
this week with others making the retreat.

Listen to each week of the Online Retreat
on a CD or on your mp3 player

Click on photo to see larger image
and Photo Gallery.
Photos by Don Doll, S.J.

selected to support 

our prayer each week.

Getting Started
this Week

Some practical helps 

for this week's prayer.

For the Journey
Reflections by

Larry Gillick, S.J.

as helps for the


In these or
similar words

St. Ignatius might say: "Speak with Our Lord, as friend to friend, in these or similar words."

Some readings that are chosen

 to fit this week.

Written prayers by others sometimes helps us find words ourselves.

A Place to Share
At any time this week, if you have anything you'd like to share, that has touched you, you can share it by leaving a note here, even anonymously.

Read the Sharing
Read what others have shared about their prayer or graces.

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