We want to let the words of Jesus draw us to him. Who is he? He is one who stands up and says that God blesses us when we are most vulnerable and in need. He proclaims it, he lives it in his own compassion and outreach, and he died for saying it. This is who he is — the one we are coming to know and love and be drawn to follow.
We must begin by listening. We want to listen with the fascination and focus of a lover. How many times have we heard the readings selected for this week? How many times have they left very little impression on us? This week we want to go to those readings hungry for everything they can tell us about Jesus.
After a particular reading is familiar, reflect on who the audience is. For whom is this good news? Who is threatened by it? Can I place myself in that scene and feel proud of Jesus for his words of comfort and liberation? And then can I experience these words as addressed to my heart?
As we’ve noted before in this retreat, the real fruit of the week’s reflection will occur to the degree that the reflection makes its way into the background of our everyday lives. From the time we wake, until the time we sleep, we can let each and every human experience be open to being an experience of intimacy with Jesus. The readings will help us get there. The more those words of Jesus penetrate my heart, the more I will experience every part of my life addressed — my ambivalence, my fears, my hungers, my efforts to be merciful and a peacemaker.
Give thanks each evening before I go to sleep for the growing presence of Jesus’ spirit in my day, drawing me to greater freedom and joy and being with him in giving my life away.