As you prepare for this retreat, pause for a moment. Take several deep breaths and allow yourself to grow still. Be aware of God's loving presence within you.
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
The voice coming from the heavens left no doubt-Jesus is God's beloved Son. He had just surfaced from the water, an action that so many people before him had performed. Yet this baptism was like no other. In the person of Jesus, God was standing in the river humbly submitting to the baptism by John. Why? Because Jesus was also man. Both human and divine, Jesus showed us what it meant to be God's beloved child. The very same words directed to Jesus by the Father are directed also to us. Jesus' baptism invites us to see ourselves and one another as beloved children of God.
What difference does believing that I am God's beloved child make in how I see myself and the world around me?
What challenges do I face in acknowledging others as God's beloved children?
(Speak to God, using these words or words of your own.)
Jesus, in your humanity and divinity you teach me how to live the life of God's beloved child. Help me to see myself and others as you see us.