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)