BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.
Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……
Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect..
Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence – Solitude…to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.
Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..
It’s time to rest with God……to rest in God. This hour…..this moment…..rest in God.
Good-bye to all goals, projects, structures, situations, feelings, thoughts….I am in meditation, in contemplation, resting in God, abiding in God.
Prayerfully, reflectively read the following……Dwell on the thoughts that speak to you in this moment……
We made a journey with Jesus through Lent and have come to experience Easter. It was a great journey. The mystery of following Jesus can not be put into simple words. The mystery of dying and rising with Christ is an experience at the depth of our hearts which no word can describe. We will continue to meet testing times – may even fight a few demons. We will have our periods of fatigue and despair, fear and anxiety, doubts and frustrations. We may make wrong turns and “U” turns……But we will journey, we will move on, we will stay focused and we will rely on his presence with us on the journey…
We made a journey with Jesus from Ashes to fire and have come to experience Easter. We may not look different – we may not even feel different. Yet deep inside of us, we are different because we met him in life and in death – we have risen with him – we are new persons and a new people because the one who died and was laid in the tomb is alive. He now lives and holds out to us the hope of a new life.
We celebrate Easter – new life – new beginnings – to new presence. We celebrate our call to be an Easter People, a People of the Resurrection, a people transformed by the death and resurrection of Jesus, a people who must continue to journey in faith, in hope and in love……….
We must move on and meet Jesus, alive, where we are, now, at this point in our history………
We read the moving story of Mary of Magdala (John 20:1-9) going to the tomb of Jesus early in the morning and running to Peter and John to tell them that the tomb was empty.
Peter and John went to the tomb and found everything as Mary had described. This excerpt concludes by saying that they believed without understanding the scripture “that he had to rise from the dead”.
Real faith is born of relationship. It is not an affirmation or acceptance of doctrines or acceptance of details of an event that can be verified scientifically or otherwise. To believe is to relate…to believe is to trust…to believe is to be intimate…to believe is to be in communion. Our belief in the resurrection and our commitment to live a resurrected life is the result of our communion with the risen Christ.
The early Christians had new insights into all the things Jesus said and did while he was among them when they recognized that Jesus had risen from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus was an act of love by which God had transformed everyone and everything. This enabled them to understand the meaning of the cross and why Jesus had to die.
The resurrection of Jesus offered new possibilities of forgiveness, peace, faith, hope, love……. Even the reality of doubt has gained a new meaning and value. The reality of doubt began to be seen as an integral part of our journey of faith. Thomas stands out as a source of encouragement for all believers. As a questioning person, Thomas moved from skepticism and disbelief to a firm and committed faith
May the Holy Spirit bless and transform your disbelief and all your doubts and all your fears and empower you to respond to God’s call in faithfulness and love!
Easter changed everything! Men and women experienced transformation of their lives. Frightened men became fearless proclaimers of the good news of Jesus and ministers of God’s forgiving and healing presence among his people. Denials were turned to affirmations of love and dedicated service as in the case of Peter and doubts were changed to confession of faith as in the case of Thomas. Men who were hiding in fear were empowered to move freely and proclaim their joy in the risen Lord.
Easter did change everything! Transformation of people did happen! Be open to the transforming power of the resurrection of Jesus!
We read about two disciples on the road to Emmaus, discussing all the events surrounding the death of Jesus (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus came along and began to walk with them. The disciples did not recognize him. They were preoccupied with the events and failed to see anything beyond.
Look beyond what you see and what you hear………the disciples had to learn to look beyond to see their Savior and Lord.
Jesus and the disciples entered into a deep conversation about the events surrounding the death of Jesus. Jesus explained to them about how the Scriptures were fulfilled in his death, stayed with them and shared their bread. He opened their eyes and they saw and they believed. And they said, “Were not our hearts burning inside us as he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures?” There was a longing, an urgent longing in their hearts…there was a passion and they became aware of it and their hearts were set on fire and they returned to tell the others their experience………
Learn to listen to your heart…..listen to the gentle whispers of the Spirit…..get in touch with the longing in our heart…..the Spirit of God moves us from within.
We read the story of Peter and his friends fishing all night without success. At daybreak, they found Jesus on the shore. At the word of Jesus, they cast their nets again and had a great catch (John 21:1-19).
The unsuccessful and disappointing night is turned into joy because they listened to the word of Jesus. Trust in the word of Jesus helps us rise above failures, disappointments, etc.
The disciples, who worked hard all night without success, were asked to try again and take a different approach, “cast your net off to the starboard side”. They tried again without complaint, they were open to try something different and they had a great catch.
Try again….and again! Take a different approach………a new approach….try something that has not been tried before……. Never give up!
They came ashore and found that Jesus had prepared breakfast for them, fish and bread. They broke bread again and recognized Jesus for the third time after the resurrection.
He met them again and again bringing them comfort and deepening their faith in the resurrection. Jesus did not give up on the disciples who had difficulty understanding the Scriptures and understanding all that he had told them while he was alive.
Reflect on the compassion and patience of Jesus. Be compassionate! Be patient!
“Do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Peter…..more than the fish, the net, the sea, the career, all knew and all he had! Peter simply said, “You know that I love you” and made no comparisons. The Lord knew him and trusted him with his mission.
Do you love me more than all you know, all you have?………this is a good question for our reflection today……take time to prayerfully reflect and respond to the Lord’s question.
Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs