St. Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality retreat Centre

IMAG0007I have just arrived back from a five day silent retreat from St. Beuno’s in North Wales.  (No mobile, no internet, no social media aloud.)
It was nice to get away after the examinations to concentrate and refocus myself in prayer and meditation, in the silence of my heart with no distractions.

Throughout the five days I meditated on different scripture passages.
Psalm 139 “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me”.
Mark 14:12 – 26 Readings for Corpus Christi from last Sunday.
Luke 9: 1 – 9 Jesus sends out His disciples – and how that links to being a parish priest in the diocese.
Luke 19: 1 – 10 – Jesus’ meal invite in Zacchaeus house – How would you welcome Jesus into your house. (How would I host Jesus)
John 21 – Breakfast with the Lord on the sea of Galilee.  (Jesus being the host)

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I received a lot from these readings and I would like to share one of my reflections with you today.

Welcoming Jesus into my house – (based on the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10)

After receiving an invite from Jesus I would be conscious about how clean my house is?  Is it tidy and presentable for Jesus to enter?  Will I need help in the preparation of the food, am I able to entertain Jesus myself?  How best to entertain him?  What topics of conversation will crop up?  Or will I be too excited and overwhelmed to think of any of these things, and just go with the flow, enjoying being in the presence of Jesus’ company.  For Zacchaeus, he was a chief tax collector and a wealthy man, he would probably have had cooks and servants to help with the preparations.

I am also reminded of the story when Jesus visited Mary & Martha (Luke 10:38 – 42).  Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to His teachings, and Martha distracted with all the preparation work.  Which one would I be?  Difficult doing both at the same time.  It would be nice to imagine being at the Lord’s feet listening to everything He says.  But having a responsibility of hospitality, I’ll probably end up in the kitchen being distracted with the food preparations.

Zacchaeus had a life changing experience and a movement of heart.  He said “Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
If the Lord was in my house, I would wish that I could have a life changing experience and to follow Him.

All this relates to my our lives today.
Jesus is inviting himself into our hearts.  Is it tidy?  Clear from sinful thoughts and desires?  Is it a place suitable for the Lord to stay?  How could it be improved?
When Jesus enters your heart, would you spent time in prayer with Him, like Mary at His feet?  Or Continue being distracted by daily activities, ignoring Him and not speaking to Him.  Like all good relationships communication is the key, in order to grow in love and compassion for one another.

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