For the past several years, I have been offering an occasional series in the parish called the 30-Minute School of Prayer. This is the fourth post in the series. I will reflect on occasion about one particular aspect of prayer. There is no one place to begin nor is there a particular sequence of reflections that must be read in order. I simply invite you to rest in God as you have come to experience God. I invite you to reflect on practical matters and issues or ideas from the gospels. Take time to reflect on the text here then be still, calm your life and be quiet for 20- 30 minutes. So we begin.
Jesus said to his disciples, “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I tell you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” Matthew 18:12-14
Advent calls us to create a new desire for God within our hearts. This seems to be the entire point of our four week preparation. So we look more attentively at our own lives, our own patterns of behavior and prayer. We gaze more deeply into our own lives so to be found in the compassion and consolation God has for us all.
This Gospel reveals God’s fidelity and acceptance for us all. My experience teaches me that most people think of themselves as being lost in some way. Most people are searching for a new relationship with themselves, with others and most especially with God. Find your self within this story as you begin prayer today. God pursues us as we are, not how we think we should be.
God also rejoices over us and we also rejoice for every person who discovers God’s care and love. Allow this feeling of acceptance and love to fill your heart this day in prayer.
So once again I call you into reflection and silence as we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and learn to release ourselves from the clutches of all we cling to, of all that possesses our hearts that is not Christ Jesus.
Jesus, find me as I am so …
Jesus, find me and forgive me so…
Jesus, find me and love me so…
So now I invite you into silence. Offer to God what you have, even if all you have is hopelessness.
Let us begin.