I've been asking myself how can I make this isolation more productive. We are all a little fearful of this whole mess. The antidote to fear is getting in touch with God and his love for us. So I thought I'd try having a retreat during this time. I'll post it here on my blog for anyone who wishes to join me on this journey.
Day 1 - “Come and See”
John 1: 35-39 The next day, John was standing there again with two of his disciples, when he saw Jesus walking by. "There is the Lamb of God!" he said. The two disciples heard him say this and went with Jesus. Jesus turned, saw them following him, and asked, "What are you looking for?" They answered, "Where do you live, Rabbi?" "Come and see," he replied.
"Come and "See," that is the call of our retreat. To follow Jesus, to get to know Him, and see what he desires of us is the goal. Like the disciples Jesus called, we too are asked to respond to his invitation, to follow Him, and get to know Him. The hope of this retreat, this time in forced isolation is to make it productive, spending time with Jesus, asking Him: What do you want of me? What are you looking for from me?
In newspapers, magazines, T.V., the internet, etc. there are opinions expressed in the advertisements concerning what we should do, look, think, say, dress, etc. Christ is the opposite. He expresses no superficial opinions on what we should do, look, think, say, dress, etc. Instead, he communicates to us – the truth – of how and what we should do. He said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will never pass away." So why then do we listen more to the opinions of others that will pass away then His truth? During these challenging times, let us focus on the truth of Christ, which will last?
During this retreat, let's be open and listen, obediently to Christ - not the world.
Let’s ask ourselves - What in my life am I afraid of? Why am I fearful?
As followers of Christ, as members of his Body, we must develop self-knowledge – the kind of knowledge that will lead us to love. We must want and desire to love and be loved with all our being. To come to Christ and see Him with fresh eyes. In this retreat, let's pray that we may genuinely seek to know the Risen Christ, here and now present. In doing this, we are seeking His peace – the peace of a real friend. The peace beyond all understanding.
In the end, we want to be able to say: I hope in Christ because I have found that I am loved more than I can possibly love, and I am wanted by God even more than I want to be wanted. When we "come and see" this incredible love God has for us, we are asked not merely to luxuriate in this love, we are asked to share it. Jesus told us – “If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.” Let's all use this unique and strange time in our lives to love God and love each other more than ever.
Prayer: O God allow us to put our hearts where Christ's is. We beg you that we may be open to Christ, to be more loving and even more loveable, to worry less, and love more. Amen