As we grow and change, so does our understanding of Jesus
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
During these past few weeks I have had a special experience. I was invited to come to the Jesuit Retreat House at Oshkosh to assist in conducting a program called, “Meeting Christ in Prayer.” A group of 15 people have been gathering on Thursday evenings to learn about the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and to engage in faith sharing. During the week we commit ourselves to a time of prayer each day, meditating on the life of Christ. Many years ago, I made the Exercises over a period of eight months, so I was familiar with this kind of prayer. Surprisingly, practicing the Exercises again has led me to new insights about Jesus and to a much deeper understanding of Him and His life.
This weekend the Church enters into a new liturgical year. Throughout this year we will again walk through the life of Jesus, following Him according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. Why do we do this year after year? Why do we listen to the same story over and over? Isn’t it enough to hear it once?
We need to hear the Sacred Story repeatedly because our own story isn’t complete. As we continue to ponder the life of Christ, we contemplate it each year from a new perspective in our own lives. As we journey through the years, we develop and change, and we continually receive a deeper awareness of how the events in our lives correspond to events in the life of Christ. The more we allow His life and personality to merge with ours, the more we allow Him to write His history on the pages of our lives, the more clearly His light within us shines.
As this year unfolds, let us be aware of our call, revealed in the first reading of this Sunday’s liturgy (Isaiah 2:1-5). We, the Church, the Body of Christ, are called to live in a way that draws all people and nations to Jesus. Then “come, let us live in the light of the Lord”. Let us be transformed in Christ.