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Sunday Micro Retreat – December 11, 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 firmness in faith.

Now read the Sunday's Gospel:

When John the Baptist heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples who said to Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A Prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a Prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’

“Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:2-11)

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 blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.

Here we have a list of words and actions that bring to the surface the messages of messianic prophecy (mainly from the book of Isaiah). Jesus starts by pointing to a miracle that is never mentioned in the Old Testament and which is never recorded in the New Testament as a miracle performed by Jesus's followers: the giving of sight. The list closes with reference to the poor, who were very close to Jesus's heart. He often referred to this particular group of people that were treated badly in society. Simply, Jesus is drawing attention to the wonderful deeds that were expected to be done by a Messiah. Thus he clearly states how one can be able to recognize the Messiah.

Take a look at the list, and think about your own life. Were you physically or spiritually affected by any of the conditions? Have you experienced a miracle of healing from any of those conditions? Have you recognized the work of Jesus in those moments? Or, are you still blind, lame, deaf, sick/dead, and poor either spiritually or physically? Are you still waiting for a miracle? Are you hopeful that Jesus can perform a miracle in your life? Or have you lost your hope? As you are thinking about those questions, what emotions and feelings awaken in you now?

2. Someone dressed in soft robes?

Luxury, the way we think of it, is not an element of holiness in the kingdom because softness lacks firmness. When we look at the way in which Jonh lived and preached, we notice a strong firmness in his actions. He stood strong in what he believed in and recognized that he had a mission to fulfill.

Thus, think about your own firmness of decisions, beliefs, faith...
What can you say about your actions? Are you firm in your decisions? Can you withstand the harshness of life? How strong are your faith roots? Or are you so soft that anything that goes against what you know or believe in will offend your right away? Or uproot what you believe in? Can those offences by justified? Are they objective or subjective in nature? Bring to attention the last event in which you felt rejected. What was it all about? How did you feel about the rejection? What did you do with it? Was it resolved or not? Review this event in detail and analyze the details.

You may end this retreat by writing down your own prayer, asking God for the grace of firm faith.

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.

prayer - 3rd Sunday of Advent Year A, meditation with Matthew 11:2-11


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