Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension might seem to be the end of the Christian story, but actually it was just the beginning. None of this would have done us much good had Jesus not only sent us his Spirit to energize and transform us into a new human being. We can ask him for the Spirit to help us in our daily living, decision-making, and growth in relationship with God. The Spirit is the mystical heritage he left us.
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Focus: Living in the Spirit
A. John 16: 7-15
B. Romans 8: 14-27
C. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13
End of day: Re-visit the retreat outcome you prayed for on Day One. How have you come to realize this? What other gifts and fruits are you noticing? What resolutions would you like to make about your life going forward?
Recognise to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise, and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity. You have been made a child of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this, and from whom?
Let me turn to what is of less importance: the visible world around us. What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course, the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that are theirs, like the music of a harp? Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of husbandry, with different kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship?
Who has given you dominion over animals, those that are tame and those that provide you with food? Who has made you lord and master of everything on earth? In short, who has endowed you with all that makes man superior to all other living creatures? Is it not God who asks you now in your turn to show yourself generous above all other creatures and for the sake of all other creatures? Because we have received from him so many wonderful gifts, will we not be ashamed to refuse him this one thing only, our generosity? Though he is God and Lord he is not afraid to be known as our Father. Shall we for our part repudiate those who are our kith and kin?
- St. Gregory Nazianzen
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