As you prepare for this retreat, pause for a few moments and relax. Take several deep breaths and be aware of the loving presence of God within you.
Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
At Jesus' most horrible and humiliating moment, his agony and death, the centurion realizes that he is standing face to face with the Son of God. Jesus' true identity is revealed as he hangs lifeless on the cross. The man who was known as teacher and healer now becomes Savior and Redeemer. The death of Jesus puts his life, and ours, in a new perspective. His death is all about love-love of God and love for us. For his followers then and now, the death of Jesus is a call to reach out in love. It is a call to believe that love is stronger than death. It is a call to see beyond what looks and feels like death around us. It is a call to make God's Kingdom of love a reality.
What do I see when I draw close to the cross?
How do my words and actions help make God's love real to those around me?
(Speak to Jesus, using these words or words of your own.)
Jesus, Savior, your passion and death brought us life. Help me to offer to you the suffering that comes my way as a result of living as your disciple.