JESUS IN JAIL

 

Imagine our Lord in prison.
He spends all of Holy Thursday night
alone–and feeling alone.

 

jesus_prison

 

Spend a few moments
praying with the Lord,
imagining him enduring the spiritual pain
of being separated from the Divine.

We know from Scripture that
though he was sinless, Jesus could be tempted.

We can imagine that perhaps
that first Holy Thursday night,
as he languished in prison,
he too must have been tempted
to succumb,
to allow himself
to be disenchanted with the Father
who seemed nowhere to be found.

What could have been some of the questions
racing through his head?
How did he cope with the doubts
that the evil spirit must have tossed at him
that night alone in prison,
when he was most vulnerable?

Our Lord Jesus must have needed
to draw deep from his faith
to resist these temptations.

Let us stay awhile with the Lord Jesus.
Contemplate on him and what he must have gone through
that first Holy Thursday night.

You may want to watch this prayer clip
during your prayer.

 

 

Feel free to spend a few moments
speaking to the Lord Jesus.

Feel free to share your prayer
in the COMMENTS section below.

 

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image from soulwinning.info, Passion of the Christ
song from EBTG, “Disenchanted”

43 thoughts on “JESUS IN JAIL”

  1. Thanks for this online retreat. How I wish I was able to go through with it last Holy Week. Thank you. Even though I’m going through it now, it is timely for my situation and makes me reflect on Jesus, ask questions about him. I can’t seem to pray to you drectly Jesus. Maybe I’m afraid. I’m disenchanted as this module has shown.

  2. I know He is there always…. no matter how gloomy my feelings are or how blurred the future may be, i know He is there. He will not let go. “to whom shall I go, you alone have the words of everlasting life”

  3. Thank you for this online recollection. Disenchantment speaks to me. I am at the point of being disenchanted and I am also panicking with what is going on in my life. I pray for the grace to pray and believe that things will turn around for the better.

  4. Thank you Lord for your presence even in silence. Thank you for your faithfulness despite my infidelities. Thank you for patient understanding when I am rebellious. Thank you for the gift of persons who manifest your unconditional love for me. Thank you for always finding me when I go astray… Thank you for today’s reflection. And thank you for the gift of your Word through this online retreat. Bless Fr. Johnny and all those who are instrumental to making this retreat available to us.

  5. Thank You Lord Jesus for going through every conceivable pain out of love for us. Thank You for loving us to Your death. Thank You Lord for we can never say we are alone because You are with us always – in every sorrow, pain, disappointment and in any kind of darkness. Thank You Lord for showing us what love is!

  6. THank you for this Online Retreat. Just goes to show that God uses everything and anything to make his presence felt everyday. Up to us to take it.

  7. What is disenchantment? Is it not the condition caused by our unchecked need for self entitlement? We craft our storyline and when the plot does not play out the way we scripted it, we get disappointed. Disenchantment. We pray for instant gratification of our wants. Any delay, any change dash our expectations. Disenchantment. We hope that our actions, decisions will bring us what we self righteously deserve. But When obstacles litter our paths and hurdling them prove too challenging, we get discouraged. Disenchantment. We got to work on our personal weaknesses. With God’s grace, we can carry our crosses. Only God enchants.

  8. Lord, breathe on my dead marriage and it will come to life. Then
    the nations around us that remain will know that the Lord has
    rebuilt what was destroyed and has replanted what was desolate. The
    Lord has spoken, and He will do it. Lord, thank You that You will
    come to me and fulfill my gracious promise to bring us back to Your
    place. For You know the plans You have for me. Plans to prosper me
    and not to harm me, plan to give me hope and a future. Then I will
    call upon You and come and pray to You, and I will listen to You. I
    will seek You and find You when I seek You with all my heart. You
    will find my spouse and will bring my spouse back from captivity.
    For nothing is impossible with God. I am blessed as I believe what
    the Lord has said to me will be accomplished! In Jesus name,
    Amen.h

  9. Thank you so much for this online retreat, this is my first time and my first lent away from the Philippines and specially my Mary the Queen Parish and my choir there.
    Am so grateful for this encounter with the Lord, i had many disappointments in life too but this time he answered my prayers to be able to migrate here in the US after waiting for 22yrs but still waiting for him to answer my prayer since my husband was left behind.
    I know Lord Jesus you are here with and will never abandon me in all my struggles in life and also in my happiest moments you are there, please continue to give me strength to discern things and to always “Let your will be done.”
    i love you Lord thank you for everything
    🙏Amen

  10. Dear Lord, I just want to praise and thank you for just being here, together with me, through Your son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for being the good, good Father to me. I know that you bore much of the burden that I had, and that I was able to surpass trials in my life because you presented yourself and bore much of the weight of my problems and trials. Thank you for being the sensitive Father that you are: caring and loving us.

    Lord Jesus, I am really sorry for those moments that I doubted on you, I doubted if you really care for me, that you were just there for me. I am sorry for those times and I relied on my own strength, because I thought it was me and only me alone.

    You know my all worries, fears, anxieties and uncertainties right now. I lift them all up to You, for You are more than all of them. As I lift them up to You, kindly walk and wander with me, as I tread those worries, fears and uncertainties in my life, for there is only one certain and true in life: that YOU will be always here for us, and with that, I will not worry, I will not fear. Amen.

  11. Dear Lord,

    “Not my will, but Yours be done”, those words have always stirred something in me. They bring such an intense sense of awe and fear in me. There must be immense faith needed to see it through. There must have been intense fear of what that meant for your comfort, for your safety, risking all that for no clear reward except God’s promise and the knowledge that you are hopefully God’s instrument of love in this world. Even you, Lord, was left in so much despair by what the full impact of those words eventually meant for you. But, in the end, you still chose to place your faith in God’s will.

    I am disappointed with many things. I wish my life turned out better. A much better career. More money. More praise. More prestige. More comfort. More safety. Less pain. Recently, I felt deeply disappointed with politics, the increasingly mean-spirited attitudes of people on each political side, the murders, the growing poverty, the simple lack of care for others. I feel disappointed with people. We have more money, more food, more knowledge than at any point in human history, yet, we have been more persistent than ever in our selfishness and narrow-mindedness.

    But I do not wonder where God is. I have come to a point in my faith that I know God is here, God is watching, and God cares for us all. Amidst the pain, the disappointment, the anger, the frustration, you, Jesus, have shown me that putting your trust in the God of endless love and compassion will lead to a better place. God is no magician. God works through God’s creation: nature, its living beings, us.

    If you, Lord, have not lost your faith in God’s will for our salvation, who am I to give up over my own disappointments? Though I fail many times to live up to those words, inspire me and grant me the strength to keep getting up and trying again.

    “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

  12. Dear Lord, Sometimes, i feel alone – alone because I feel I am the only one contributing a lot for the needs of our aging parents. But Lord, i know that my siblings are also contributing a little bit financially and also providing services directly to our parents…I also feel i am helping a lot of my sisters – for their own needs when they have a crisis or are in need of financial help. I feel burdened at times Lord and I feel quite disenchanted because it seems that I have been given much but I also have to share much and set aside my projects…Lord, I want tot trust that you will provide for me what I truly need in the years to come, especially in my old age. And that I will not worry that I do not have a child of my own that will take care of me when I am old. Help me Lord to be kind to myself just as i try always to be kind to others. Help me to also spend money on myself so I can find balance in my life….Help me carry the weight Oh Lord….carry me throughout the days of life….just as you have carried the cross…..thank you Lord for your support throughout our lives…I am worried and afraid at times. Help me to trust and not to worry or be afraid….Help me to trust in you loving mercy and constant support. Thank you Lord for having been there all throughout my life, in the good and bad times…..Amen..

  13. Dear Jesus,

    Our grandfather was laid to rest yesterday. Remembering the story of Lazarus is quite an unsettling story to look at today, especially whenever I remember the teary-eyed faces of my relatives and my mother. I have yet to properly cry about my grandfather the same way my family had: indeed, I have this unsettling tendency to not cry during the burials of the people I am related to. I sometimes wonder if this is me having already learned the reality/impermanence of things, or this is me being confronted by my own lack–by my own inability to acknowledge that for a while now, I have been someone who have placed very little emotional stock for my family. Maybe instead of being just the one who is disenchanted, I have been causing disenchantment myself.

    Maybe you know this feeling, Lord. Maybe this is the very thing you felt when you saw your disciples hankering over the glory of what they thought was your impending reign as the Messiah of Israel–the one to deliver them from Rome. You may feel that you are being a monumental let-down to the miserable who look to you for material salvation. Maybe this is the thing keeping you at fear in prison. Maybe this is why you are afraid of the Passion: that everything you preached, the hope, the message of love, will fade away when you are a corpse on the cross.

    Right now, two millennia after your sacrifice, in a far-away, island country, people are dying. The rich continue to hold power. The religious continue to hover above us in hypocrisy–using even your very name. The people trying to help and make a difference are either killed or hounded out. You may have found this place familiar. You may even have been killed in this place yourself, had you been here.

    Wait–you are. You have been. In the seven thousand killed suspects. In the miserable who were left behind. In the old battle-hounds who could only scream vengeance, bloodied, bruised but unable to lift any further hand to attack. In us who are losing the will to fight and speak.

    Lord, teach us how to hope. How to continue loving in a world who seem to be unable to–or at the very least, only promises a fleeting, facetious image of love in exchange for our very souls. How to live with love, to give the will to stand up and make a difference in a world which doesn’t want to make sense. Help us to love as you did–to end, to the cross, alone and driven to near-insanity by the pain, to be met by contempt–or worse–by the impenetrable silence of the eternal.

  14. Dear Jesus,

    I have felt so alone many times, especially in these recent months. I have no family of my own. I have friends but only a few who really care about me. Even they would not always be available whenever I need them. I wondered if it would be like this for me for the rest of my life. I also wondered why you never seem to answer my prayer for a community.

    But I am assured that you are always with me Lord. I know that even if you remain silent, you are still there. When I imagine how it must have been for you in Gethsemane and in jail, I finally understood that you felt so alone too…and my heart just goes out to you. I long to stay by your side, just as you always stayed by mine.

    Thank you to Fr. J and his team for this wonderful retreat!

  15. i was broken by someone and am still recovering from it…yet i do remember that one time, amidst my suffering, someone offered me a cup of coffee in the rain and said i was welcome to visit (that institution) anytime i needed shelter.

    you see, at the time i bought something for someone who didn’t care. it was raining and i got wet and a bit sick…but when i arrived (at that religious institution) i found caring. and i knew that Christ was always there, watching me. as he does now.

    thanks for this. it’s very timely. what happened to me (ironically after a very meaningful holy week last year) really disrupted me. and i appreciate this theme. so thanks :)

  16. Dear Jesus,

    I will watch and wait with you tonight as You have always done for me. Let me hold your hand, keep you company and ease your fears and anxieties brought about by your disenchantment. Together, we shall keep the faith that our Father’s silence is not abandonment but quiet strength.

    I love You, Lord Jesus.

  17. Jesus, as you suffer alone,
    from Your arrest, imprisonment, torture, even in Your death.

    One thing comes to my mind.

    THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME.

    You took all loneliness, abandonment, disenchantment, and all human suffering for our sake.

    I FEEL I AM UNWORTHY.

    But I thank you, Jesus. For being one of us.

    Teach us to be like You. To be able to say to God the Father:
    “Not my will, but Your will be done.”

    Kudos for Father J and the rest of the team of this online retreat! Another fruitful Maundy Thursday! #3rdyearparticipant

  18. Dear Lord,

    I am here. I feel your pain.
    Let my tears convey the entirety of my message.
    Thank you for allowing me to be here with You at this moment.
    I now know how You are able to bring me out of misery
    because You know it deeply.
    I would like to say give me Your burdens,
    but I know I may not be strong enough
    to handle it myself.
    I can only give you this, my trembling hands,
    my teary eyes, my heart that tries to feel your pain,
    and my sincere presence.

    Amen.

  19. Lord, I thank you for the opportunity to hear from you through this retreat. Though I have my own disenchantments, You console me by letting me know that You will never leave. You are always here for me, Lord. May I be able to use this grace to let others know of your presence. Your will be done, O Lord.

  20. “Look for the God hidden in things” is kind of similar to finding God in all things, something that I try to do and pray for all the time especially when bad things start to happen. The practice of praying for the grace to see God in eveything keeps me hopeful and keeps me calm. When I do recognise Him in situations, the experience adds to my “faith deposit” which I can “withdraw” from in instances when I need a faith boost.

  21. Fr. J… I have a lot of disenchantment… I am grateful to you. After watching and reading your module online. I realized a lot of things in my life. God LOVES me. I am crying now as I listen to all the music you’ve partnered into every gospel. I am so much grateful to God for this wonderful online retreat. I am a sinner yet God still loves me…It is only now I realized the value of Holy week… Thank you father J! May God reward all your efforts in glorifying him.

  22. In my fantasy prayer while Jesus was in prison and being tempted to succumb to disenchantment with his Father, I said to him, “I’ve been disenchanted with your Father innumerable times but I’m still with Him. If I leave your Father, where will I go? To whom will I turn to? Certainly NOT to the Dark Side! Jesus, if I can manage not to leave your Father despite my disenchantment, I am quite sure you can also manage not to leave Him because you are greater than I am. So stay! You can do it, Jesus!”

  23. A part of me thinks going through this retreat was a bad idea. After all, my innocent sister is in detention, and in fact I just finished visiting her today.

    Weirdly enough, she was once faithless, but discovered belief in God during her stay there. Sadly, I can’t say the same for myself… I am no longer sure what to believe anymore. We have become pariah among family and friends have turned against us. I only keep my social media accounts because I get paid to post updates on them, it’s part of my job description, and honestly this whole experience has made me want to resign and close all accounts altogether. I can definitely relate only too well with this because it has been my life since 2016.

  24. I did not realize that the greatest pain that Jesus suffered was not the physical pain that was excruciating or the psychological pain of abandonment by his friends, but the spiritual pain of the apparent indifference of his Father and so He instituted the Holy Eucharist to be with us always so we never feel abandoned.

  25. Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace to take courage and open my heart again… to try again… to love again. Trusting your divine plan with my life. Knowing that you are God who is always there no matter what. 🙏🏻

  26. Lord, release me from my doubts. let me see You in each trial and tribulation that come my way. open my heart and mind to Your magnificence and be loving of others. Amen

  27. Thank You Fr. J for facilitating me of my first online retreat. The topic “Praying in Disenchantment” is a very thematic and timely topic that reflected my life journey nowadays.

    LORD, thank you for reminding me that in my times of disenchantment, of loneliness and weariness, you are still here at my side, in that bread, in the Eucharist, to show me that you are not indifferent on what I am going through, for you also felt and experienced it 2000 years ago in the cold and gloomy garden of Gethsemane.

  28. Lord, I thank You for the incessant care You’ve given us, for the challenges that make us even tougher than before. We thank You that through it all, You have stayed with us. That amidst all these that happen in this world, there is Hope because You are here, with us. May we be able to keep holding on to Your promise and live according to Your Word.
    May we always find You even in the most difficult moments in our lives.
    AMEN.

  29. Thank You, God for everything.
    Please forgive all the individuals who have committed sins. Help the sinners to eventually repent and be one with You.
    I hope that all people, especially my brothers and sisters who are suffering from the hardships of this world would be able to find divine happiness with You.

  30. Thank you once again for preparing this online retreat for us.

    I don’t know how or why it’s so, but every time I “attend” your retreats, it’s always spot-on. You talk about disenchantment this year, and it’s probably the EXACT word to describe my life right now.

    Last year, following my very intense Holy Week retreat with Pins Of Light and a retreat house, God actually answered my prayer! After years of searching, I landed a very good job which, except for the distance, appeared very close to the kind of job I asked God for.

    I was very happy with that job, feeling almost smug that this was “it,” and everything will be okay … more or less. But, sabi nga nila, “walang forever”.

    I didn’t see it at first … or rather, I ignored the signs … but now I am feeling oppressed by a toxic boss who labels everything as urgent, organizes emergency meetings left and right, meetings that have no point, and is so caught up in work that she is blind to how she affects others. I don’t know if she knows or cares about the people around her. All she does is order people around, even if the people aren’t her staff, or aren’t even junior employees but high-ranking officers! Worst of all, it appears I am now an enemy to her and a threat to be crushed, which makes me feel angry, sad, frustrated … All I want to do is work, do my best, go home. Why am I a target that needs to be eliminated? I was warned about this boss of mine on my first week on the job and I am sad to realize the warnings might be justified. When I first met her, I disliked her because she gave the vibe that she didn’t care about other people. It appears that I’m right. We are just tools and pawns to be ordered around to suit her and advance her interests.

    I also met someone … and after years of me focusing on my family (I’m the bread winner) to the point where I stopped caring about myself, I met a man that caught my attention. He’s actually Prince Charming … he’s kind, intelligent, gentlemanly much of the time. Sometimes, it seems the attraction is mutual, but it can’t progress because of so many things. Faith is among the biggest issues. I don’t even know if he still believes in God. There are other complications, and I’m not in that deep to ignore them. It is very hard to kill the attraction, the feelings. I find it ironic that God would place me in this situation, where my heart would feel for a man again, after all this time … but I can’t have him. Whether the complications are real or imagined, I don’t know. But it’s very frustrating. All these if only’s in my head whenever I see him or talk to him.

    Lastly, the job still isn’t enough to provide comfortably for my family. One of them has gotten sick, and I am the caregiver, the one who pays for the medicine, the hospital visits, etc.

    So, as you can see, the word disenchantment is perfect to describe my life. I am disappointed with some people in my life, disappointed in the man who keeps moving forward then backing away, disappointed in myself for letting myself get affected by everything, and I guess, and how ungrateful I am to God to say this, disenchanted (sort of) with His gift.

    Yet, I know there’s something beneath all of these, I just have to wait and see.

    My prayer for this Holy Week is that I would have a deep, revealing encounter with God this Holy Week, even if I’m unable to go to an actual retreat house this year and I have to stay here, in the “outside” world, with my family, my concerns, my angst, my frustrations, etc.

    As “disenchanted” as I am, I know in my heart that God will never fail me.

  31. Lord, thank you for making me realize and understand the reason for my mom getting sick when I was just 5 years old and forstill being with us since then, enduring the pain, suffering and helplessness. It is because she loves us and because you love us. Through her pain, suffering and helplessness, you have made me feel your constant presence. Through my mother’s sacrifices, day in and day out, You have been reminding me of Your own sacrifices and love for me. It would have been easier for our mother to just give up, let go and put an end to her misery, but she chose to endure it all and be with us up to this day. It has been almost 36 years since she got paralyzed. Now I begin to see beyond the physical paralysis and feel her desire to be with us despite of her condition. Now I am beginning to accept that You have been reaching out to us, wanting to make us feel Your own love and Your own sacrifices for us, through my mother’s love and sacrifice.

  32. From someone who is living in the Middle East, this online retreat is such a blessing for me and my friends. Thank you to all who made this possible.
    May our faith be strengthened amidst all the dissappointing events and disenchantments we feel from everything that is happening around us and in our personal lives. I believe that Jesus is and will always be with us always. God bless us all.

  33. Thank you once again for preparing this online retreat for us.

    I don’t know how or why it’s so, but every time I “attend” your retreats, it’s always spot-on. You talk about disenchantment this year, and it’s probably the EXACT word to describe my life right now.

    Last year, following my very intense Holy Week retreat with Pins Of Light and a retreat house, God actually answered my prayer! After years of searching, I landed a very good job which, except for the distance, appeared very close to the kind of job I asked God for.

    I was very happy with that job, feeling almost smug that this was “it,” and everything will be okay … more or less. But, sabi nga nila, “walang forever”.

    I didn’t see it at first … or rather, I ignored the signs … but now I am feeling oppressed by a toxic boss who labels everything as urgent, organizes emergency meetings left and right, meetings that have no point, and is so caught up in work that she is blind to how she affects others. I don’t know if she knows or cares about the people around her. All she does is order people around, even if the people aren’t her staff, or aren’t even junior employees but high-ranking officers! Worst of all, it appears I am now an enemy to her and a threat to be crushed, which makes me feel angry, sad, frustrated … All I want to do is work, do my best, go home. Why am I a target that needs to be eliminated?

  34. Thank you for this online retreat. I opted to stay home today instead of going to Mary the Queen, Greenhills as it is quite a distance from my home, my right lower extremity hurts a lot, and I am worrying about exhausting myself moving back and forth when tonight I will have to attend Mass of the Last Supper. I may not endure it. IT was good that I was able to access this retreat through the help of a friend or I will have gone nuts. I will think about the thoughts you have given in this year’s Holy Week Retreat. Will rest and read at home Imitating Christ in the 21st Century particularly the section on the Holy Eucharist to complement this retreat, and then leave myself to reflect on all that I will have imbibed this morning.

  35. Thank you Fr. Johnny and looking forward to the next one. Martha and Mary – from the tomb of their disenchantment emerged a deeper and stronger faith in Jesus.

  36. Since Lent began I’ve been praying for God to take away the pain and nerve disease in my right arm that may prevent me from continuing with the mission work next week. Your retreat hit the core of the seeming silence of God and it has taught me that Jesus experienced the same and this is a great opportunity to grow closer to Jesus, and the Father.
    Thank you!

  37. I am no stranger to being disenchanted, to have my mind full of worry and anxiety. This is the theme in my life for so long. I would have wished that I belong to the class of Martha and Mary where their disenchantment was short lived, and that their faith was very strong to believe that Jesus will immediately answer their prayers.

    I belong to those who are still waiting for Jesus to answer my prayers. It is in this light that I reflected the period of my waiting. I experienced the phase where Jesus could not reach me because i was wallowing into my own self-pity and self absorption. I believe that Jesus has always been with me, except that He could not get into my soul. Now I am beginning to see that.

    Feels weird but I have always identified myself as Lazarus in the tomb. Jesus is beckoning me to go out of that tomb, and I am still unsure, if I am to go out and embrace that life.

    I have experienced physical pain, even mental pain. Both are horrible. But nothing is more horrible than spiritual pain- because this is where the temptation of sinking into despair, and loss of hope comes in. I was deeply struck by this because this is one of the things that I went to confession with.

    Thank so much for the grace o this Lenten Retreat

  38. Dear Father J and Team
    Thank you once again for this yearly Holy Week retreat !!!

    The theme on disenchantment is so appropriate and relevant with all events happening nowadays !

    Am struct by “I’m right here in this bread and all things ordinary, every single thing that earth has given and human hands have made – now offered, broken, and shared.”
    … Especially when they seem falling apart, Jesus will still be there…

    🌿🍃🌱

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