Sunday Micro Retreat – December 25, 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 recognizing God's presence in difficult moments.
Now read the Sunday's Gospel:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration
and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town
of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.
He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in
swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an Angel of the Lord
stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the Angel said to them, “Do not be
afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a
Saviour, who is the Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying
in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest
heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!”
When the Angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see
this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the child lying in the manger.
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. ... there were shepherds living in the fields ...
Many Christmas stories, nativity scenes and different Christmas plays feature this specific group of people as the ones who got to be the first people to see Jesus.
Very often, we look at the shepherds through very romantic lenses. However, at that time in history, this occupation was associated with people
who were not very honest and who were considered "unclean" under the standards of the law. Simply, they were outcasts, sinners, people from the margin. Yet, they were the first ones
blessed with the experience of meeting Jesus in person.
Therefore, think about all the people whom you meet in your life, who may be marginalized by society, who may be criminals, offenders, etc... In spite of what
might be going on in their life, they may be the ones who truly meet God because of their woundedness. They may be the ones through whom you may get to know Jesus.
Or, perhaps you feel like you are one of the outcasts? If you do, look for the moments when you were invited to visit Jesus or for the moments when you know you met
him. How did you feel then? What happened next? Did the event/encounter with Jesus change you in any way?
2. ... this day ...
"Today" is the word that is used to indicate that a major event takes place, the Saviour is born.
Thus, think about every "today" that you got to experience and which marks a critical moment in your life. Is "today" the day of a change for you?
How many "todays" (significant changes in your life) can you name?
What can you tell about those changes? Were they good? Bad? Did those changes bring you closer to God? or maybe they caused derails in your faith?
It is another "today" today. How are you spending this day? Where is your mind? Your heart? What do your relationships with others look like specifically on this day?
You may end this retreat listening to your favourite Christmas song.
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.