However, people kept coming and going in great numbers cutting short their retreat, both to rest and to speak more about what it was like to have exercised Jesus’ power. Of course doing Jesus’ work is more than exercising power. Jesus’ response to the crowds showed us relationship, and its companion, presence, were and are as important.
a personal relationship with wind, fire, thunder or a statue. No wonder God’s people early on wanted a king to rule, lead and guide them. Humans in every age need a God with skin, to use a phrase of Fr. Ronald Rohlheiser.4
- Begin as usual to allow yourself to be aware of our triune God present to you with care and love, creating and guiding you each moment.
- Ask the communion of saints to intercede for you to be more deeply aware of the Trinity’s gracious concern for you.
- Savor one way that God has or continues lovingly to create you, lead you and guide you.
- Whatever helps you, feel Jesus’ response for the crowds for you alone: Jesus tends me so I will not be like a sheep without a shepherd. Noticing his loving attention for each of us helps us proclaim it to those who are near and who are far off.
- Close saying the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus’ prayer shapes us to effectively preach repentance, confront evil, as well as anoint and heal.
- Genesis 49.24b.
- Sirach 18.13; Israel was the analogue in this image. E.g.,[Prophet Micaiah, son of Imlah,] said, “I saw all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd; and the LORD said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace’” (1Kgs 22.17). Presence is mutual; religion and godly living help humans be present to the One who remains ever present to us.
- John 10.11, 14.
- The Holy Longing: The Search For a Christian Spirituality. Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2001 (date of the audio version).