Online Retreat Guide - Week 31
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Jesus Is with Us

Guide: Recognizing Who He Is

The mystery of our everyday lives is that Jesus is with us, but we often don’t recognize him. This week we will reflect on his presence with us, as we continue to ask for the grace of joy with Jesus risen.

When Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, after his resurrection, they didn’t know he was with them. They were quite caught up in their discouragement. Good Friday had been devastating to the hopes they had. They were so down because their expectations had died on that Friday. And in their self-pity, there was no room in their imagination for the Good News that God was trying to reveal to them.

This week we want to enter into the scene of the road to Emmaus and recognize this pattern in our lives. We will try to notice, through our background reflections each day, the ways we get absorbed in problems, discouragements, and worries and are unable to see Jesus with us.

We want to focus on two key parts of the story. Jesus makes the breakthrough in two ways. He begins by “opening up the Scriptures to them.” This is very much what Jesus has been doing for us during this retreat. We have come to understand the story and to appreciate how he came to enter our lives completely. We now know the patterns we face of not wanting to embrace our lives completely, resisting our own diminishment and death. The temptations to riches, honors, and pride abound. Jesus has been confronting our discouragement by revealing himself to us and inviting us to fall in love with him and his pattern of giving his life away. And we have seen the scandal of the cross as his revelation that his gift of self is for me. How often our hearts have burned within us!

Jesus then comes into their home with them and ritually gives them a way to recognize him and remember him. When he “took the bread,” they must have seen him as the one who is there to nourish them with the daily bread that he promised would sustain them. When he “blessed it,” they must have remembered how he gave thanks to God and placed his life in God’s hands. When he “broke it,” they knew he was the one whose life is broken open to reveal servant love to us. And, finally, when he “gave it to them,” they knew who they were again—his disciples. Isn’t this how we come to recognize him today?

Use the resources here to get started with this week. Our joy with Jesus grows this week as we come to know, through his self-revelation, in the way he gives himself to us in the breaking of bread, that he is alive and with us.

As we approach the end of this retreat, please fill out the anonymous form to the right, to give us feedback on the retreat and your interest in some more online help for prayer in the future.  Thank you.

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.

Response Form
Please consider reading and returning this form, letting us know your feedback on the retreat.  We also want to know your interest in continuing online support for prayer in everyday life.

Thank you.

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