I have seen the Lord
and He has spoken to me.
I have taken up my own suggestion to live this Easter Week as a retreat-in-daily-life.
No problem if you haven’t started yet. It’s never too late to begin.
I must admit that I’m motivated at least in part by the fact that I made a real mess of Lent doing all the things I decided not to do and not doing the very things I set out to do.
This week will, by the grace of God, be different for me.
My suggestion was that we set perhaps ten minutes twice a day simply inviting Jesus to reveal Himself risen, present, real and active in whatever circumstances we find ourselves today.
The reason (as I suggested yesterday) was that it is easy for us to reduce Christian faith by following Jesus the wise teacher and miracle worker who lived and died two thousand years ago, the distant God we seek to please and appease with good works and prayers.
However as the first followers of Jesus discovered after the resurrection our God is now present and active in Jesus among us, no longer limited by time and space two millennia ago but risen here, now, real, present, active for each of us in whatever circumstances we find ourselves today.
Let me put it another way: When it comes to our Christian faith, let’s be sense-able. Even before we notice the Lord, He is gazing at us, personally, with a unique and tangible communication of love and mercy and speaking directly to each of us.
If we are to be the intimate friends of Jesus we need to, like Mary Magdalen in today’s gospel, be able to say “I have seen the Lord and He has spoken to me.”
It is not enough for an adult to believe because parents and religious leaders told me so.
We are not mature Christians when we think we don’t have to see and hear Jesus ourselves because we will simply do what the priests tell us.
I am not a mature priest when I limit my faithful following of Jesus to what a bishop communicates to me.
A bishop is not living as an adult Christian when doing only what the pope asks.
A pope is not a mature disciple of Jesus when motivated more by personal fears and curial demands than by personal communication from Jesus.
This places a significant responsibility on each of us to ensure that we are able to discern the voice of Jesus among the many other voices that come from our own inner and outer fears.
You might like to join me in making this our Easter-Week prayer:
God of silence
and God of all sound,
help me to listen.
Help me to do the deep listening
to the sounds of my soul,
waiting to hear
your soft voice
calling me deeper into you.
Give me attentive ears
that begin to separate
from the sounds that are you;
you who have been speaking to me
and through me my whole life,
for so long
that you can seem like background noise.
Today help me hear you anew.