1. Prayerful reflection on Jesus’ invitation
- This is an invitation and welcome into a transforming relationship.
- The scripture passage for this session is your personal invitation to come into an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus.
- Jesus invites you to bring the whole of your person into this relationship.
- In this relational embrace he shoulders the burdens of your heart and offers you the opportunity to learn and grow in his likeness through bringing your heart close to his gentle and humble heart.
- In his embrace he will reveal to you how your heart is always held in the spacious heart of God, and within the same stream of self-giving and other-receiving that flow among the Persons of the Trinity.
- As you become aware of God’s loving and life-giving presence flowing into you and through you on every breath, you will experience deep and profound rest for your soul.
- It is from within this life-giving flow of love that Jesus will open to you the essence of his way, and reveal how this same love can flow through you into the lives of pilgrims you encounter in your particular interpersonal ministry.
Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you as you bring your prayer attentiveness to Jesus’ invitation to come to him.
Reflect prayerfully on – Matthew 11:28-30, NRSV.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Read passage 3 times:
Follow your first reading with a time of silent indwelling. Then open your heart to Jesus’ invitation to step through this relational doorway and to bring all that concerns and burdens you into his “rest.” During your second reading, be attentive to the key word or phrase that is drawing your attention. Savour this word or phrase until you begin to notice what is beginning to stir within your heart. Be attentive to your inner stirring and invite the Holy Spirit to continue this work within. Following your third reading, allow time and space for what is being stirred within you to be drawn close to the gentle and humble heart of Jesus. Notice what flows from your heart to his and from his heart to yours, as it is carried on the breath of the Holy Spirit. Remain in this place for between three and four minutes. Rather than struggle with what might distract you from this flow, simply use Jesus’ word “Come” as the gentlest reminder to be present to him in this heart-to-heart way.
Is this approach to scripture new to you?
Prayerful attentiveness to these words of Jesus entails bringing all our capacities and each element of our person to this task. There is our mind which seeks to understand both Jesus and his words. There is our heart which is able to integrate and open to Jesus our mind, intuition, feelings, emotions, and body responses. There is our soul which is able to ground us in the depths our human experience, and enable us to encounter Jesus through our unique human story. And then there is our spirit which is the active and flowing part of us that is stirred and enlivened by Jesus’ Spirit, and makes a response to him. There is our imagination which may even picture Jesus with his hand outstretched towards us. As we open all these capacities to Jesus and his words of invitation and welcome, the Spirit will awaken us—awaken our consciousness—to his presence.
As you bring the whole of yourself to this encounter, continue to notice what is stirring within your spirit in response to Jesus’ invitation and welcome. You might mark out a space in your journal to make your response to Jesus. Choose between a prayer, a poem or a drawing through which to convey your response.
My response to Jesus' invitation
Question to Ponder:
In meeting with burdened and weary pilgrims, what would it be like to take Jesus’ yoke (his way) upon your shoulders and have his humbled and gentle heart formed within you?
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