10 March 2008

Walking with Jesus

What Gospel event do you see yourself participating in? In other words, think about your walk with Jesus then pray about which event in His life do you see yourself in.

Are you Martha, the busy-body trying to put together a meal, worrying too much and complaining? Maybe you are the centurion at the foot of the Cross or a disciple falling asleep in the garden while Jesus prays in agony.

Once that place is revealed to you, put yourself there. Use all your senses. Maybe an illustration from a children's Bible or an icon will help you enter into the scene. Dwell on the story and the images for a few days.

Next, what is the Lord trying to tell you through the story. What is the symbolism? Why are you here? Are you an active or passive participant? For example, the Wedding at Cana: you're a servant bringing a jug of water at the request of the Blessed Mother--maybe you consider yourself ordinary, but if you bring your simple gifts to Jesus, he will transform them into something miraculous.

It was hard for me to discern where I was at with Jesus--what event represents where I am right now emotionally and spiritually. The Holy Spirit showed me that the place I am right now is hidden in the most intimate and special place that Jesus ever dwelled. He was only there for nine months and only three verses in the whole Bible talk about it (Mt 1:18, Luke 2:5, Is 7:14). So where am I?

In the womb of the Virgin Mary! Not just in her protective arms, but surrounded in that tabernacle of flesh and blood. Soothed by her heartbeat. What happens next? Well, I can't stay in here forever, but for now I'm safe.

I have an icon of "Our Lady of the Sign" (after Isaiah 7:14) that depicts Jesus in the womb of the Theotokos. I've been meditating on this image and the phrase, "she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." (Mt 1:18)

Luke chapter one gives the whole account of the Annunciation, and Mary's visitation with Elizabeth--both mysteries of the Rosary. In addition, part of the Rosary comes from Elizabeth's greeting "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." (Luke 1:42) The position of Mary in the Church for two thousand years fulfills the prophecy she gave at that event "from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (Luke 1:48) I can take this to mean I should pray the Rosary more, carrying it with me wherever I go. It is my umbilical chord!

In addition, God showed me this Eastern Hymn from Matins for the Annunciation (Tone 3) as my prayer during this time:

Today all creation greatly rejoices, for the Archangel says unto thee, "Hail! Blessed art thou, O Pure and Holy, Undefiled and Spotless." Today the proud insolence of the serpent is brought low, for the fetters of the curse laid on our forefather are loosened. Therefore with all the world we cry aloud unto thee: Hail, thou who art full of grace!

Whew! That's where I am. So where are you?

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