Sunday Micro Retreat – June 5, 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 to strengthen the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your soul.
Now read the Sunday's Gospel:
It was evening on the day Jesus rose from the dead, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20, 19-23)
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. " As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world."
At first glance, it seems that the word "sent" in this line means the same thing. However, in the original text, we are dealing with two different versions of the word "sent." ‘As the Father has sent me (apestalken), I am sending (pempō) you. It is important for us to know the difference as the "sending" of Jesus is something that has started in the past but continues in the present. Jesus was sent to us in the Mystery of Incarnation, but he continues to be sent to the world by the mission of the Church. So when the Father sends Jesus to the people, he does that continually. On the other hand, the faithful are sent out to mirror the mission of Jesus in the world. When Jesus is sending out his disciples, he is not asking them to replace him, but he is asking them to continue his mission of healing the sick (physically and spiritually), helping those who are needy and poor, who are neglected, who suffer, and who need to hear the Good News.
At this point, reflect on the life of Jesus. What were the main aspects of his everyday life? Think about his prayer life, daily commitments, and approach towards people who were considered outsiders, sinners, sick and poor; what is his relationship with his family and friends? Now, think about your own life in relation to those themes: how is your prayer life? How do you "deal" with outsiders? What is your involvement with the sick and the poor? What are the positive and negative events in your family life? What does your circle of friends look like?
If Jesus told you right that he is sending you as the Father sent him, how would you understand this command? What do you think is your primary mission here and now?
2. "The doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews."
If the authorities were able to execute a leader, it was normal that the followers of the executed leader would be scared and afraid that the same execution could become the next event in their life.
This is exactly what has happened to the disciples. Even though they spent so much time with Jesus, they were not able to understand what was going on. They were afraid and hiding.
Try to put yourself in their shoes: what would you do if you were the witness of such a brutal execution of your friend, who, in your eyes, was a great leader? Who referred to himself as a Son of God? Think how hard it was for the disciples to figure it all out.
Then Jesus "introduces" the Holy Spirit to them, and everything changes. Those who were so afraid are ready to go on a mission; they are ready to love and suffer, so others hear about the promise of salvation.
So, think about the day of your Confirmation. How did your life change after you received this sacrament? Or maybe it has not changed at all? Spend this time reflecting on your own understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and what his gifts are. Which gifts of the Holy Spirit are "working" in you? Which gifts need to be strengthened?
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 listening to a song/hymn about the Holy Spirit. Choose something that touches your heart. Listen to that song daily for the next seven days.
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.