1 John 3:7-10
My children, do not let anyone lead you astray:
to live a holy life
is to be holy just as he is holy;
to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil,
since the devil was a sinner from the beginning.
It was to undo all that the devil has done
that the Son of God appeared.
No one who has been begotten by God sins;
because God’s seed remains inside him,
he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.
In this way we distinguish the children of God
from the children of the devil:
anybody not living a holy life
and not loving his brother
is no child of God’s.
As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher –’where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.
We have found the Messiah
I never imagined attending a silent retreat, what’s more one that is overseas. Yet God in His ways showed me that it is possible. During December 2011, I attended the silent retreat organised by the Cenacle Sisters in Chiangmai. For our group our retreat was held at MontFort Retreat House. I didn’t know that I went to the retreat with so much issues on my mind. The struggles that I faced with I silently kept within my heart. Fears and doubts clouded my heart. I was thinking more than I could feel God’s presence. There were expectations and timelines on my mind.
Yet in His way and time, He allowed me to experience and dwell in his presence. From watching the sunrise, to smelling the flowers, being with nature, praying and journaling, having the dogs around with me, daily mass and having my Spiritual Director who listened and guided me through the process. At the end of the retreat, I felt the peace and love. The message was also to let go of expectations, to spend more time with the Lord in prayers and also to be a witness for him. Indeed the issues are still there. This time I choose to surrender all and pray for His grace to sustain me.
In the Gospel, Jesus is inviting us to come and see. He extended the invitation to Andrew and his friend. Both of them stopped what they were doing and follow him. Jesus is always knocking at our doors, waiting to be invited in our hearts, to show his love and wisdom. Do we want to spend time with him? After my silent retreat, I have to say has been totally an honour dwelling in his presence. Being able to give him the undivided attention, talking to him and listening to him. I hope to send time with him now that I am back in Singapore, being in nature, in silence, in prayers and in journaling.
What a privilege to know and follow Jesus. Every day, He is there right beside us, holding our hands and guiding us. If only we took time to be still and listen to him? Are we ready to let go of our ego and fears and let him the Lamb of God reside in our lives? “Come and you will see” let this be a phase for you today and every day. He is waiting for you.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Patricia Ang)
Prayer: Lord create in us a pure heart and a steadfast spirit. Allow us to lead our lives with actions guided by you.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Lord for our friend and our friends who have been with us in this journey.
Thu 05 Jan – 1 John 3:11-21; John 1:43-51
Fri 06 Jan – Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3.5-6; Matthew 2:1-12; Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Sat 07 Jan – 1 John 3:22-4:6; Matthew 4:12-17.23-25; Memorial for St. Raymond of Penyafort, priest
Sun 08 Jan – Isaiah 55:1-11 or 42:1-4.6-7; 1 John 5:1-9 or Acts of the Apostles 10:34-38; Mark 1:7-11; Feast of the Baptism of the Lord