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Sunday Micro Retreat – December 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 true repentance.

Now read the Sunday's Gospel:

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the Prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’”

Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, John said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:1-12)

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.Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

In the time of Jesus, when it was known in advance that the sovereign was coming, a road on which such a person would travel had to be as smooth and well-prepared as it could be.
John recognizes that Jesus is someone of great importance, someone associated with the kingdom of heaven; therefore, John sees repentance as something that will well prepare the path for the coming of Jesus.

Now think about your own life as a path on which Jesus will have to travel. How can you describe it? Is it bumpy? Is it smooth? Is it straight or not? What do you need to do to make this path ready for Jesus's feet? Jesus is not just "any important traveller"; thus, maybe it would be worth it to ask him how he feels about the path (your life) on which he will have to walk. Maybe with his help and suggestion, this path can become the best it can be. Talk to Jesus about it. Listen to what your heart is telling you.

2. I am not worthy to carry his sandals.

Strapping or carrying sandals was a task of slaves. So, in relation to Jesus, John puts himself lower than a slave. In humility, he recognizes that he is standing in front of a great mystery. He is standing in front of the one that will reconcile humanity with God.

What can you say about your own humility? How do you understand what it means to be humble? How do you feel when you meet Jesus in the sacraments? How do you enter into the mystery of the Eucharist? Do you prepare for it? Are you conscious of what is happening when you are receiving Holy Communion?
Try to think about your own preparation for meeting Jesus in the sacraments.

You may end this retreat by reading the following passage from St. Faustina Diary:
“Today the Lord said to me, ‘Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of Mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrent of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.” (#1602)

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 - 2nd Sunday of Advent Year A, meditation with Matthew 3:1-12


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