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Sunday Micro Retreat - May 22, 2022

As you begin your time of reflection, try to realize that you are standing on holy ground and that you are in the presence of God who wants to talk to you and who wants to listen to you.

Make the Sign of the Cross and invite the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind so the Word of God that you are about to read can flourish in you for God's glory. Say this prayer using your own words. Let the words flow from your mind, through your heart. Try to "feel" what you are saying.

Is there anything that you would like to ask God at this moment? What graces does your heart desire? Talk to God about it.

Today, ask God for the gift of peace.

Now read the Sunday's Gospel:

Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words, and the word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.

"I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate,[a] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur you may believe. (John 14, 23-29)

The Word of God touches everyone differently. If there is anything that really stood out for you in this reading, meditate on it. Go to the depths of your heart and listen to what God is trying to say to you.

Next, let's spend some time with a couple of points that you may consider during this Sunday's Retreat:

1. "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit […] will teach you everything…"

In this passage, the task of the Paraclete (the Holy Spirit) is to remind the disciples and to teach them the significance of what it means that Jesus is glorified. John is using this theme so the people living at the end of the first century could understand how the first witnesses had an accurate and true understanding of who Jesus Christ was. The Holy Spirit's mission was to simply guard what was already revealed but maybe not yet fully understood. The Holy Spirit did not come with new revelations.

In this light, reflect on your own spiritual journey. Who were the teachers of faith in your life? Was it your family? School? A parish community? Bring to mind all those people who helped you get closer to God. Also, reflect on your own understanding of who the Holy Spirit is. What do you think is the main "function" of the Advocate?

2. “My peace I give to you.”

The word peace 'eirene' in this passage echos the Hebrew word 'salom,' which is the customary Jewish word of greeting and word of farewell. So, after Jesus's resurrection, the word of farewell becomes a word of greeting. The "old order" ends, and the "new order" begins. Peace is one of the fundamental features of what is expected in the messianic kingdom as people of the Old Testament understood it. The Messianic kingdom is the new order in which the peace of God is present in the world. This peace dissolves all fear and guards people's hearts and minds against any infiltration of anxiety.

Jesus refers to this peace as: I do not give it to you as the world gives . Jesus wants us to know that the world is powerless to give peace, as the world is immersed in selfishness and in sin that can produce only pain and suffering. Jesus's peace, on the other hand, comes as a result of his suffering, in which he absorbs the sin of the world. Jesus's peace is not secured by a brutal sword, but it is secured by his innocence and obedience to the Father. It is secured by his love.

Now, think about your own understanding of peace. Do you understand where it has its roots? Are you looking for peace by indulging in the things of this world? Do you experience anxiety? Are you living in fear? What causes your anxiety? Or fear(s)?
Are you aware that a great peace comes from the sufferings that you may experience and which you unite with Jesus?

At the end of this meditation, talk to Jesus about everything that 'was born in your heart during this reflection. Tell him about your feelings, about your joys and fears that flow from this time of prayer. Be honest with him, and be grateful for everything that happened during this hour.

You may end this retreat by praying the Litany to the Holy Spirit.

It is good to keep a personal journal in which reflections that stood out for you are recorded. The outcome of those Sunday Micro Retreats is good material that you can talk about in your spiritual direction.

Trout Lake in Ontario - meditation with John 14:23-29


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