Some Practical Help for Getting Started This Week.

Our way of proceeding for this week takes us more deeply into the scene depicted in John 21.

The Mystery We Contemplate
This week we reflect on Jesus alive and present with us as one who nourishes us for our mission. Our reflection is in the context of our nearing the end of this retreat — as we look back and look forward.

The Grace We Ask For
We still seek a deepening sense of joy with Jesus. Jesus is risen and alive forever. We want to experience his presence, especially as we return to our daily life after this retreat. This week we desire to experience his renewing our call to be with him in his mission.

Our Daily Life Contemplation
This week we want to imagine that lakeside scene and its parts:

• Peter returns to fishing.
I could end this retreat, saying “I’m returning to . . .”

• Jesus again shows them his power — a renewal of their call.
I have known his power these months, and his call, and long for its renewal now.

• Jesus makes them breakfast and invites them to bring what they had already received.
I’ve experienced his feeding me and inviting me to actively bring what he’s given me previously to that new experience of nourishment.

• Jesus transforms Peter’s three denials into three missions to feed his people.
I know I’m a loved sinner, that I’ve grown in love for him and for his mission.

• Jesus says to Peter, “Follow me.”
I hear that call and desire to say “yes.”

The Daily Means
Each morning, among the first things I do is pause for just a moment to focus on the grace I desire this week. As I put on my slippers or robe, I will recall the dynamic I wish to be so conscious of this day: my everyday life events are part of this mystery. I’m nearing the end of this wonderful retreat experience. I have experienced the Lord’s movements within me in these daily moments these past months. Now I am renewed in them and feel the call to be more deeply with Jesus in his mission.

Throughout the day, in all the background times, I will return to these thoughts. This will help me be more conscious of Jesus’ being with me. It will also help me see and experience the graces I desire this week. Some examples might help. Are there moments in my day when I experience old patterns, or moments within me that return to patterns that had been touched by grace in this retreat but now are still not what I desire? I want to be conscious of those times all week long. That is precisely where I can experience Jesus renewing his call and reminding me of his presence with me.

I might find myself on the edge of a grace experience. I’ve come to recognize it in this retreat before. There’s a conflict or a struggle or some opportunity to surrender myself and help someone. I stop for a brief moment and see Jesus there, making me breakfast. And he says, so calmly and with such confidence in my companionship with him, “Bring to this experience some of what I’ve allowed you to receive. This moment can be nourishment, if you bring to it what I’ve given you.”

There are lots of choice moments in our week. Am I going to do something this way or that way? Am I going to go to this or go to that? Will I try to save my life or lose it in loving others? At those choice crossroads, I can pause briefly and listen to Jesus ask, “Do you love me?” I can let the words and feelings be expressed, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” In that concrete life moment, I will let Jesus say, “Then choose what will be an act of nourishment for others.”

Throughout my day, as I walk from one place to another, or get in the car to go to my next commitment, I can hear Jesus’ call, “Follow me.” And in that background moment, I breathe a peaceful “Yes, Lord, I am with you, here.”

Each night I will find a brief moment to bring the day together in gratitude. Expressing my thanks each evening will help me grow in confidence that Jesus is indeed present, nourishing me this day for mission with him.

Make use of the various resources provided for this week: the “For the Journey” and sample words for our attempts at expression in “In These or Similar Words . . .” As the “yes” moments of my week grow, they can form a fabric of nourishing mission moments that not only lift my spirit but also offer the gift of companionship in mission with Jesus that his Spirit desires for us all, for God’s greater glory and the service of others.

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