Sunday Micro Retreat - May 1, 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.
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.
Ask God for the gift of faith that will let you recognize and fully experience God's unconditional love.
Now read the Sunday's Gospel:
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go." (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, "Follow me." (John 21, 1-19)
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. "Cast the net to the right side of the boat."
During the time of Jesus, in the Greek circles, the right side of anything was seen as a sign of good luck. Note, that when this commend is being said, our fishermen are not yet aware that they are talking to Jesus. Did they listen to the advice of this 'stranger' because they saw it as an indication of good luck? We do not know... However, would Jesus really ask them to do it because "good luck" was something the fishermen needed?
Well, Jesus does not operate on those terms. Jesus is looking for our trust in everything that he asks us to do.
Therefore, reflect today on how much you trust in God's Word. Do you truly trust that Jesus will never ask you to do more than you can handle? Or, do you put faith in gadgets and even religious objects counting that their presence in your pocket or purse will bring you some good luck?
When others are facing something challenging do you "wish them good luck"? or, do you encourage them to trust that with God's help they will be able to overcome anything and everything?
2. "None of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?"
Why do you think it was so hard for the disciples to ask the question? Now they knew that it was Jesus; they fully recognized him. They were standing in front of the one who manifested the power of resurrection. They were aware of what it meant as they witnessed Jesus's passion and death. They were standing in front of an uncomprehended mystery.
How do you feel when you are standing in front of Jesus? How do you feel when He comes to you in Holy Communion? Are you so aware of his presence that you would not dare to say "who are you?"
Do you clearly recognize Jesus in the sacraments? in another person? or in the created world? What happens in your heart when you fully realize that you are actually talking to 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 listening to a song that is about the closing remark of this gospel "Follow me". Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIT39NSTmPk
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.