God Announces the Way; Servants Are Open
Guide: The Faith That Formed Jesus
When we look at a friend’s photo album, some of the most intriguing pictures are the ones of our friend’s grandparents and parents. We stare into those faces not only to look for some resemblance but also to discern something of the character, the traits, the personality of our friend.
This week, we will use the first chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in pursuit of our growing desire to know Jesus more completely, that we might grow in love with him more intimately, because we want to follow him more freely.
Our method this week will be to stare into the faces of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary, and look for what they tell us about our friend Jesus. We will try to enter into these scenes in the midst of our busy, everyday lives. We will try to learn about the character and personality of Jesus by studying the faith that formed him.
This type of prayer takes some practice, but anyone can do it, because it’s what we most naturally do when we meet the parents of a friend. And when we learn something about our friend’s family, we learn something about our friend. For practical help in praying with these scenes, be sure to read the practical helps for prayer.
Zechariah couldn’t imagine how God could overcome Elizabeth’s old age. And he could not speak at all until he could say his new son’s name, “God is faithful.” The angel announced to Mary that “nothing is impossible with God.” Elizabeth says, “Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.” Mary’s whole being proclaims the greatness of God and her words echo the faith of her ancestors.
As we walk around in our busy lives this week, these wonderful stories will shape our week. There will be a Zechariah-in-doubt moment, when we can’t imagine God’s presence, and another Zechariah moment when we can say, “God is faithful.” There will be times when this week’s photo on our computer screen will remind us of a feeling of being overwhelmed and saying, “How can this be?” And there will be times when it will remind us of Mary’s words, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.”
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Click on photo to see larger image
and Photo Gallery.
Photos by Don Doll, S.J.
selected to support
our prayer each week.
Some practical helps
for this week's prayer.
For the Journey
Larry Gillick, S.J.
as helps for the
In these or
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.