Today’s session invites us to consider the implications of being a friend of Jesus and walking his way. It’s a way that is transformative and which for Jesus led to the Cross. When we truly love someone we want to be alongside them through good and bad times. We hear Jesus’ invitation to walk with him to Calvary and on to glory.
- We begin by breathing out all that prevents us from trusting Jesus and his love for us. We breathe out our fear of pain, suffering and struggle, our avoidance of being taken out of our comfort zone.
- We breathe in all our hopes and longings for mercy and love. However fragile ours might be, we breathe in trust, confidence in our loving God and the power of the Spirit, shining through our weakness.
- Ignatius invites us to be alongside Jesus, seeing him in Gospel scenes and feeling in our own hearts a reaction to him that mirrors that of others within the scene. Our wounds are touched with the lepers, our fear and self-doubt are met with compassion in the woman with the haemorrhage. Here in Mark’s Gospel we enter into such a scene:
A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
- Note the conversation between the two: ‘if you choose, you can heal me’. ‘I do choose, be healed’. Jesus says this to each of us. Through us he also says it to the world. How does it feel to be healed and to be called to be a healer in your turn?
- In The Joy of the Gospel Pope Francis writes: ‘The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness’. Everything that Jesus said and did on this earth was aimed at convincing us how much we are loved, whatever our sins
- That love has overcome the world. Yet as well as our own failings which we carry within us, we live in political and social systems that institutionalise selfishness and injustice.
- In his own hour of suffering at Gethsemane Jesus asked his friends to stay with him, not just in the sense of remaining physically but in the sense of hanging on in there with him. Their fear and lack of trust caused them to run away.
- What do you want to say to Jesus as he expresses his love for you by going willingly to the Cross? Do you have a sense of how you might be willing to follow him?
- Mary Ward came to understand what it might be like to be freed from disordered attachments. She calls it a state of ‘singular freedom’ from every tendency to cling to what is not God. St. Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Galatians, ‘For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.’ Are you aware of needing to be freed by Jesus? Speak to him about this as we end our prayer time.