Friday, 25 September 2015

Become stronger, deeper, more mature

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Malcolm Davies (No. 159) 

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke 9:18-22
One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.
‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’

Faith is not the result of human effort, of human reasoning, but rather a grace from God. Faith starts with God, who opens his heart to us and invites us to share in his own divine life. God invites us into the heart of the Trinity where we experience the divine self-giving of the Father, Son and Spirit to each other and to each one of us as well.

Faith does not simply rely on information about who Jesus is by reading the scriptures or books. Faith begins with the grace of a personal relationship with Jesus, a surrender of our whole person, with all our understanding, will and feelings, to the God of loving mercy.

But there is also a challenge that flows from having Jesus as a personal saviour and that is the challenge to be a disciple. Faith in Jesus and discipleship are strictly interconnected.

Faith and discipleship involves following Jesus and throughout our life our faith must become constantly stronger, deeper and more mature, to the extent that it leads to a closer and more intense personal relationship with Jesus.

Friendship with Jesus will also lead us to bear witness to the faith wherever we are, even when it meets with rejection or indifference. We cannot encounter Jesus, we cannot choose to respond to the grace of discipleship, and not want to make Jesus known to others. 

We are challenged to make Jesus known through our words, our life of prayer and our life of service. 

Malcolm Davies
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.