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Sunday Micro Retreat – September 4, 2022

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

Make the Sign of the Cross. The Holy Spirit is opening your heart and mind so the Word of God that you are about to read can flourish in you for God's glory. Pray that you continue to work with his grace. Let the words or your prayer flow from your mind through your heart. Try to "feel" what you are saying.

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

Today, we ask for the grace of being ready to follow Jesus.

Now read the Sunday's Gospel:

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate their father and mother, spouse and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even their life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

“Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace.

“So therefore, whoever of you does not give up all their possessions cannot be my disciple.”” (Luke 14:25-33)

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. " Whoever comes to me and does not hate their father and mother, spouse and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even their life itself, cannot be my disciple."

Think about how this call would sound to the people who were listening to Jesus at that moment. In the culture of that time, anyone who hated a family member would be considered as someone who violated the law. So, what was Jesus saying here? Was he supporting the disobedience of the law? No, he basically said that there is a priority in love. The first priority is to love God. Being loyal to God, in situations where one desired to follow Jesus against family wishes, was thought of as hate of the family. This is why Jesus is touching on this subject.

Therefore, think about your own loyalty to God. Is he #1 in your life? If he is, how does it reflect in your family life? In your relationships with others?
If he is not in the center of everything that you do, ask yourself, “why?”. Is it because you genuinely don’t know how to approach him? Or is it because you feel like he does not need to be in the center?
2. “Whoever does not carry their cross”

Here is another piece of the Roman Empire's history: people who were condemned to death were forced to carry their crosses to the place of crucifixion. This action was in place to publicly admit that the Emire was correct in its judgement and that the victim was admitting his fault.

Therefore, through the statement “carry your cross,” Jesus asks his followers to admit that he is right and that his followers are even willing and ready to die for the Truth.

At this moment, think about your public “display” of your faith. Are you ready to follow Jesus even if others ridicule you? Are you ready to stand up and publicly voice your concerns in matters that conflict with the Church's moral teachings?

Or, are you hiding from the public sphere, thinking that it is not a place where aspects of our faith should be made known to others?

You may end this retreat by sharing today’s Gospel reading on your favourite social media platform.

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.

retreat and meditation and spiritual direction for a gospel passage Luke 14:25-33


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