my sweet jesus!
"I have seen the Lord!" —John 20:18
At a college "Encounter with Christ" retreat many years ago, I had a "Mary Magdalene" moment. The retreat director asked everyone to find a quiet location and spend an hour reading letters written to us by fellow students. I walked through the snow-covered woods to a secluded hilltop overlooking a frozen lake and sat atop a tree stump to read and pray. Each letter radiated encouragement, hopes, and prayers. The final letter ended with a Bible verse: "No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a bushel basket" (see Mt 5:15). When I read that verse, it was as though Jesus Himself jumped off the page, sat next to me, and spoke my name (Jn 20:16). Though the winter air was freezing cold, I felt nothing but warmth and the love of Jesus during that hour. In that moment, Jesus' love changed me profoundly and permanently. I was transformed from self-conscious to God-confident, from fearful to joyful. The Scriptures came alive and I was filled with the desire and resolve to attend daily Mass. With Mary Magdalene, I proclaimed: "I have seen the Lord!" (Jn 20:18)
A life-changing, personal encounter with the risen Jesus is absolutely critical. The risen Jesus is not bound by the laws of the natural world. He walks through locked doors (Jn 20:26), vanishes from human sight (Lk 24:31), and rises into the clouds (Acts 1:9). You might encounter the risen Jesus in the Eucharist, while reading the Bible, at a retreat, during prayer, in a traffic jam, while cooking, in the dark (Acts 18:9), or while traumatized by tragedy (Jn 20:15). Be constantly ready to encounter the risen Jesus every day. Let Him transform your life.
Prayer: "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All..."
Promise: "You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." —Acts 2:38
Praise: Alleluia! Jesus is risen! "Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!" (Phil 4:4)
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching, order our tape on Developing A Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011
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