This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.
For the past eight weeks, we’ve been walking together in a special way. We’ve been taking the time to get to know one another more deeply, delving into the heart and soul of who I am and who you are. In my desire to get to know you better and to draw closer to God, I have been reminded of how loved and cherished I am, that I am a beloved daughter of God. God delights in me, in others, and in all of creation. Pondering this again, my heart is filled with joy!
I’m deeply aware of my sinfulness and selfishness, and of my humanity, and I want to draw closer to you. I want to open myself up to God’s grace and mercy. Come, Holy Spirit, transform my hard heart. It’s my heart’s desire that I can be a living sign of God’s love and mercy in the world.
Jesus, you have shown me how to do this concretely, in the many ways you interacted and made yourself present to those closest to you. In teaching, you shared your wisdom and knowledge in the synagogue, on the mountain, and in the public square. You visited Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, who was sick with fever, and held her hand. In so doing, you helped her up and healed her. Your touch also brought healing to the blind man and to others suffering with leprosy. When the woman who had been bleeding for years touched you, she was healed. You entered the home of outcasts and shared a meal with the tax collector Zacchaeus. You welcomed little children, placing your hands on them and blessing them. You prayed.
You questioned those in authority and remained true to yourself and to your call. You challenged those who would inflict harm disguised as an act of justice; as a woman faced being stoned to death, you drew a line in the sand and challenged any man who was without sin to throw the first stone. They all walked away. What strength you showed! What tenderness and compassion!
Jesus, I have been so inspired and moved by you—by who you are and by what you did during your days on earth. Your Resurrection, though a mystery, assures me that death does not have the final say and that I can place my hope and trust in you. It is this Good News that I’m called to share with others.
I pray that I can be a concrete sign of your love wherever I am, with whomever I’m with. When I visit my elderly neighbor to share a cup of tea and conversation, you are with us, Jesus. When I tenderly embrace a grieving friend or a child who says he has “a sore heart” (which actually happened the other day), you are there with us, Jesus. When I take the time to drop off food, blankets, clothing, and other items to my local parish or opportunity shop, I am answering your call to tend to the poor. In today’s world, making eye contact and sharing a smile with someone on the train or bus could be just what that person needs—an acknowledgement of being seen.
Jesus, you are with me in my heart, and in everything and everyone around me. May this wonderful treasure—held deep in my heart—be joyfully and freely shared with all I encounter, particularly those who need it most. This is a beautiful gift that I can offer the world!