INSIGHTS, QUESTIONS, AND PRAYERS

Like all our online retreats the past years, we end each day by encouraging you to share with the rest of our virtual prayer community.

SharingHands

You may want to answer any of the following guide questions:

  • What INSIGHTS struck or disturbed you–or emerged from you–by doing today’s reflections?
  • What QUESTIONS might you have about the points or about our faith and life in general?
  • What PRAYER would you like to offer up at the end of today’s session?

In the past, the insights, questions, and prayers posted on our sharing page have been valuable not only because they benefited other retreatants, but the process also helped the person sharing clarify and consolidate his retreat experience.

So we encourage you to share the graces that you have received.

While our team of online spiritual directors will be available to respond to your posts, you are all encouraged to read and comment on your fellow retreatants’ sharing as well.

Two walkers standing on ridge coming down from Taillon looking down to the Cirque de Gavarnie, Pyrenees, French / Spanish border.

For those who are interested, you may check out our live chat at the Philippine Jesuit web site. The real-time availability of our online spiritual directors is understandably limited, but you can be sure of a response eventually.

Just click on the CHAT BOX here.

We hope to see you again tomorrow! Let us keep one another in our prayers.

Note that you need not give any personal information when you share: Names and emails are optional.

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174 thoughts on “INSIGHTS, QUESTIONS, AND PRAYERS”

  1. Lord,

    I was weak. I was tempted. I gave in. I got lost.

    I am sorry. Forgive me. Save me.

    Help me master myself. Guide me to overcome my inner struggles. Let my heart know Your examples deeply. Give me desires that lead me to You.

    As You grant me mercy, dear Lord, let me be merciful to others, too.

    Amen.

  2. There were a lot of things happened also at the Garden of Gethsemane.. Jesus REALLY tried so hard to understand himself as a MAN and as the Son of God.. to surrender His needs and be obedient to the Father.. to reach out to His betrayer.. to follow and embrace the wretchedness of humanity.. ALL of these are in the heart of The Good Shepherd.

    “Father God, I know that You’ve been reaching out to me long enough, I pray that I may see the lost sheep in me and reach out to you and accept you as my Savior. Follow me, whenever I’m lost like a child wanting your sweet embrace at the end of the day, AMEN.”

  3. Thank you so much for this online retreat. It hits home to what I’m feeling or going through. Thank you for all those that worked on this to make it happen.

  4. with thanks for all of the people behind pinsoflight.net

    this is the second time i have / am doing this online retreat with my elder sister sending me the link.

    you are truly heaven sent especially for folks like me who cannot partake in the regular holy week services back in our homeland.

    much thanks once more.

  5. I am so blessed by this retreat! Being a stay at home mom, it is a deep hunger and thirst to really experience Christ in such wonderful retreat as this in the comforts of my home while my child is asleep. It also brought me to tears just by examining myself and looking into my life. I am greatly struck by God’s undying love and oh, His mercies that comes rushing in with just a little opening of our hearts! What a wonderful affirmation it is that God’s mercies are new every morning! Salamat Lord! It never left my mind. I am so blessed by the grace God has given each day. Despite my sinfulness, He continues to follow me in my chaos. In the heart of my own chaos—hurts, pain, disappointments, worries, fears. I am so in awe of God’s goodness that I could just sing of His love everyday. It is my prayer today, after this Holy Thursday retreat, that I may find the grace always to forgive, not only by mere feelings but a decision to do so.

    Thank you so much for this!

  6. Wow! I thank God for this online retreat. I have been wanting to go on a retreat, but had difficulty finding time due to work schedule. So again, thank you, Lord, and Thank You Father J,for this!

    I’ve been moved. Jesus has been with me as I started this retreat. This is so far my most meaningful Holy Week ever. Thank You, Jesus, for Your mercy. Thank You for Your Love that keeps me going everyday.

    AMDG+
    Xavier University-AdC Alumnus

  7. A thought that is bothering me. What if Judas responded to Jesus and forget his plan of betraying Jesus? I have experienced betrayal from my own children and I cannot wholeheartedly forgive and forget. Please help me.

    1. Dear Grandma, did you get to join last year’s pins of light retreat? In last year’s Holy Thursday, we were asked to identify our weaknesses which become the devil’s target in tempting us. Before then, I thought i was being dishonored and disrespected by my children. With the help of Fr. J’s reflection, I realized i was the problem. I couldn’t be blaming my children for my own weaknesses. Do check that out. It could mean a much needed life changing revelation. It did for me. God’s mercy is amazing.

      1. Thank you for your reply. This is my first time and I will look into the retreat last year. From hereon, I think I will use your Archives to help me in my journey to the Lord not only every Holy Week but everyday of my life. Thank you so much. God bless you.

  8. Usually we go on vacation during the Holy Week. This is a wonderful venue to be able to reconnect spiritually with the Lord. In my quiet time, and in reading the reflections, i am amazed at how the Lord has so much love in his heart to forgive and I know that I have so much more to do to be like Him. My worldly wants have become the center of my life. My wants seemingly turned into needs when i really have so much already. I lift all my worldliness to Him and pray for humility and strength.

    1. We thank the Lord for this quiet time and the realizations you have made. We are with you in praying for the humility and strength that you ask for.

  9. Thanks for this online retreat, I am 55 yrs of age and this enlightened me on how to truly observed Holy Week. More power to organizers and may the blessings and MERCY of Jesus Christ be with us and the whole world Amen.

  10. Hmmmm I imagined yung eksena nung hinuhugasan ni Jesus yung paa ni Judas … “Itay, susubukan kong baguhin lahat sa makakaya ko … bilang tao … kung puwede niyo lang alisin to sa akin … huling hirit pa ‘Pa!!!” Tapos tinitingnan niya kung paano mag-rereact si Judas … titingnan niya yung mata pero di siya makatitig …

    Sa di niya pagtitig, I will try my best to look back into Jesus’ eyes. To savor his gaze … Sa mga mata niya, nandun yung gusto niya sabihin sa akin …

    1. Nino, continue praying with your vivid imagination. Itanong mo rin, ano ang sinasabi ni Hesus sa iyo? What is his gaze communication to you?

  11. I’m truly blessed taking this retreat. For a while I felt so down, I cried as a wake up this morning there was a heavy feeling in my heart but the retreat makes me feel better aand makes me realized a lot of things. Thank you very much for doing this program Godbless

  12. Truly grateful for this online retreat. I have learned a lot about Jesus and myself at my own pace. God bless and more power to your team.

  13. Thank you for this online retreat. I am a priest who is spending time with OFWs here in Europe for this Holy Week. I tried to enter into the spirit of this “online retreat” putting myself in the shoes specially of Filipinos abroad thirsting and hungering for the traditional spiritual practices back home in the Philippines. By just a “small opening” of my heart for what God wishes to do with me through this online retreat, I received an insight regarding the need and want that leads and misleads me even in my ministry as priest — that of honor, of fame, of recognition — more than that of possession and control (which I also crave for). I see why the Lord in his wisdom uprooted me from where I was receiving all of these things in great measure and misuse them to feed the “spoiled brat” in me and He being merciful, brought me into hiddenness and of silence — in studies and in ministry among OFWs. For being self-centered, I grant the Lord the door where He could enter and expand my heart to embrace all of the worlds deepest desire — that need too my attention and care — even if it just, before I sleep, in silent prayer.

    1. Thank you for sharing. I admire Your humiity in sharing your story. Your humility is the door to your blessings.please pray that I may have that courage to practice humility because my issue is control.

    2. Thank you Fr. Johnnyfor this trtreat.

      Thank you too Fr. ANONYMOUS Thank you for sharing. I admire Your humiity in sharing your story. Your humility is the door to your blessings.please pray that I may have that courage to practice humility because my issue is control.

      When i started this retreat, i could not think of anything that would be my addiction or want. But afte going thru it, I realized that the one thing that is still wounding my relationships with others is control. I didn’t know i had that need and i dont see myself as controlling but it was very unconscoous. I was not dictatorial and quiet relaxed person but i just realized that i was very particular and this is a form of cintrol. I thank God and this retreat for this opening. This is a new door for me to change and once again to receive mercy that will give me an opportunity yo grow.

      Also, the retreat made me understand and appreciate more Jedus in the agony in the garden. Jedus could have run away just like sometime we run away or ignore the plan of God for us because we want and chose what is comfortable for us.

      And finally it made me feel Jesus in His humanity feeling and experiencing beytayal. Here I understood Jesus and here I felt his human troubled feeling and also felt His divinity when He is able to wash Judas feet. I have to pray for that grace to be able to wash the Other woman’s feet. The challenge to follow Jesus in the washing of the feet made this gospel passage come to life for me. If Jesus can wash my feet, how can I not do hers too???

      1. Thank you for your sincere and very specific sharing, Peaches! Really appreciated. And wow, what a deep insight into yourself in terms of your (subtle) need for control. Now that you are aware of it, you can manage it better. Blessings!

  14. Thank you Lord for the gift of prayer, for the people who made this online retreat possible. Thank you Lord for the gift of time, allowing us to reflect and understand ourselves better. Thank you Lord for friendship and challenges that allows us to become more conscious of our strengths and weaknesses.

    Thank you Lord for your love. Amen.

    1. Like you, we are grateful for the many blessings that the Lord has been showering people through the retreat. Thank you and welcome :)

  15. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to reflect on God’s love and mercy and on my own sinfulness. I was struck by the story of the “unrepentant” soldier and the deep mercy of Jesus as manifested in His treatment of Judas. The retreat also made me take a hard look at how my selfish wants and needs are so entwined in my habits and certain ways of thinking that it does not feel like sin anymore. Thank you for making me determined to take charge of the spoiled brat and move away from hurtful behavior. Some of the sharings here also struck a chord in me and I wish us all the grace of enlightenment, love and new beginnings. God bless!

    1. I’m very much like the unrepentant soldier who loves to do a favourite sin and have been seeking forgiveness for it over and over again. But would do it again soon as the opportunity arises. But of late, cracks in my hard sinful heart have been opened for Faith to grow due to a very life threatening ailment. With what you have on this Retreat, we get a better perspective on how to avoid it.

      Thank you for having this site for us to access so that we may continue nurture our love for our God and Faith.

  16. Knowing Jesus in the last supper was a different experience. It had never occurred to me that he asked Judas to abandon his plan of betrayal.
    If Judas abandoned his plans will there be a passion of Christ?
    Lord help me understand my weaknesses and strengths.
    Thank you for having a merciful heart a door always open to forgive us.

    1. That is a question I also asked many times. It has also been answered thoroughly and intelligently by people in articles or radio shows and I still forget the answer.
      I looked it up again and you can refer to item 600. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a4p2.htm

      I guess the key thing is Judas could have chosen not to betray Jesus. Also, God could have stopped the events that would lead to the cruxifiction. But He allowed it which led to the Passion.

      I look forward to the answer from our spiritual directors here.

      1. One way to look at it: If Judas had changed his mind, or had not been successful with his plan, those who wanted to kill Jesus would also have found another way to execute their plot.

        Even today, the Spirit is working to discourage us from choosing to do the evil instead of the good. Many times, our stubbornness takes over and we end up not following what we already know to be the correct thing to do.

        Yet, God’s mercy abounds.

  17. I have thanked God countless times for His blessings as well as His Mercy. Asked for His guidance and give me wisdom in decisions… But there are bumps along the way and truly friends are those that can hurt you most. Friendship lost because of not trying to understand the other. How do you resolve a conflict when the other refuses to meet or listen? The saddest part is when one cannot understand what the issue is all about.

    I thank the Lord for prayer. Praying for others eases the pain. I have learned to ask Him to hold me by the hand and giving me strength especially when moving against the tide and making unpopular decisions for the good of many.

    I thank the Lord each day for the countless people He has sent my way, to help me through … Staying sometimes for a short while, others longer, they come and go, all shapes and sizes… Others even suspicious looking????. Others come to me for help and eventually blossomed into friendship that allowed me to grow in my faith and become a better person.

    1. Natawa ako sa “suspicious looking”!
      So true, Qwerty. It’s hard to tell from external appearances alone. Sometimes the best friendships come when we least expect it. God loves to surprise us.

  18. The upper room can be any room in our life where we interact with people. Our home,office,school,church etc… Wherever it is, Christ can be amongst us. It is a matter of being conscious of Him, his teachings… when we interact, make decisions,coming up with solutions.Praying always makes things clearer.

    It never crossed my mind until this retreat that He could have been reaching out to Judas to reconsider what he is planning to do… Maybe there is still hope for mankind … But is it right to say that Christ could have (as human) wanted to spare himself of what will happen after? If he could convince Judas to stop.

    It is hard to make difficult decisions when we do not know the impact it will cause. Even if the risk is calculated, we cannot be 100% sure. In the case of Christ, He knows what will happen, even the process He has to go through to save mankind… He allowed Judas to make the decision of what will happen next… He allowed Judas to decide. (Even now God has allowed us to make our own decisions) The LOVE he has for us is truly amazing. He is willing to go through the process…

    Christ is truly a great leader, he sacrifices himself for his people. Not every leader has this trait. This can only be seen in dedicated leaders. Those, whose heart and mind are focused on others than of self. This is my first online retreat. Thank you for the process to understand Christ more.

    1. As Fr J would say, Christ was not only fully divine but fully human, so it was entirely possible that He did not know 100% what would happen to Him. For me, this makes His sacrifice all the more meaningful. And yes, He could have stopped the events leading to His death at any time, even before the Judas episode, but doing so would have meant an incomplete sharing of our sufferings and experiences.

  19. The opportunity to reflect on God’s mercy and to see my own secret sins is greatly appreciated. There are secret sins pala! And they’re are all so very selfish. I pray that at the end of this retreat, a Godmother you will show me, as you always have in the past, the way to Your true servant.

  20. Lord, teach me to see things as they really are and not the way I want to see them. I do have secret sins which I relish to do over and over again. May I have the grace to protect people that I have hurt and keep on hurting. May my prayer be their light in my struggle of bitterness and hurt.

    Open my eyes and Lord and pour out your infinite mercy on me a wretched soul and for other poor souls who do not know of your mercy, Amen.

  21. I’m just thinking that this is God’s mercy at work, leading me to this website so late at night on Maundy Thursday with a self-imposed Social Media ban.

    A lot of things stroke a chord with me today, but these are the major ones. As this retreat was talking about Betrayal, it struck me just now how grave our betrayal probably was to our friend – who was so hurt he didn’t talk to us for a year. We didn’t understand why he was so hurt when we thought we were doing nothing wrong. But just now we received a Wedding Invitation from him. Reading the passage on being sorry for not being sorry, and imagining the feeling of someone that was betrayed, I really feel thankful that this person has forgiven us – or deliberately reached out to us through his invite. I thanked this friend and asked for forgiveness “for not being sorry” to him in my mind.

    Another was the word Misericordia – Opening your heart to wretchedness. Wow. What a term. That’s probably what I need. Growing up being bullied, with little encouragement – I’ve closed myself in to avoid being hurt. I kept to myself, avoid attention as much as possible and try do well in everything, thinking I was becoming Independent, trying not to rely on people as possible. But eventually I come to realize that I need love and attention and friendship too, and not opening up to people though makes you miss out on these things. I was reminded that this was and still is a prayer of mine, to make myself open to people’s imperfect love, being fully aware that this love can hurt me.

    Salamat sa Awa ng Diyos at nakarating ako dito. Looking forward to the next.

    1. Indeed, it is liberating to be forgiven. Realizing that you need love and attention and friendship and having the courage to open oneself to the vulnerability of loving are graces from God.

      Thank you for sharing Bom.

  22. What struck me was the part about Jesus mercy, giving Judas bread aca washing his feet… Was giving him a chance, wanting to melt his heart. I had never seen it that way.

    How truly vulnerable the Lord allowed himself to be! STILL allows himself to be. To us all who are weak with wants, to us who betray him and our own selves.

    But his door remains open. Always open. We have only to walk in to receive his mercy.

    I also appreciate the analogy of the general, spoiled brat and secret lover. It invites me to study my weakness and to practice conquering it with self control, prayer and love.

    I am grateful for tonight’s retreat. This special, unexpected time to be with God. And to brush my soul.

    May God’s presence embrace us all. My prayers tonight are for all of us to find more meaning, not only this holy week. But every day. That we make our lives count for love and mercy. In Jesus holy name. Amen.

  23. It is truly amazing how God reaches out to each one of us despite our sinfulness. He never fails to love us, a love so great that is unchanging and ever faithful.
    I thank the Lord for giving me the chance to rediscover his love & friendship, for making me whole again, for loving and accepting me the way I am.
    Thank you heavenly Father for everything!

  24. There are two things that will remain in me for this session.

    First, the soldier that was unable to express his sorrow over his sins. His heart already turned into stone that he was not sorry for all the things he did. Sometimes I am like the soldier, I get so used to doing some bad things that it already feels natural and sometimes does not feel like bad ar all. But in the end the line “I am sorry because I am not sorry” made me realize that there is still hope for me to realize these things and reflect what I should do to cure those.
    The second point is the “the spoiled brat.” It’s very applicable for today’s generation. We get so addicted to a lot of modern things like gadgets without realizing it. I now know how to gradually help myself so I can deal with more important things in life. Temptation may be hard to fight, but we have to acknowledge the power that we can.

    1. Numbness leads to more addiction because one has to continually top the last ‘hit’ and the endless cycle continues. We thank the Lord for removing a little of that ‘soldier’s numbness’ in you today and hopefully completely break the cycle that leads to being addicted like the spoiled brat. Thanks for sharing :)

  25. going through this online retreat reminded me of a key theme that i’ve always held dearly (yet have easily forgotten) about God’s mercy: he is the finder, not me.

    thank you guys- he’s found me again through this online retreat.

    prayers please, for the graces of self-forgiveness and repentance

  26. Thank you for this online retreat. It has opened my heart to appreciate the gravity of God’s mercy. As I address the contents of my trolley I continue to ask for the grace to be also as merciful as Jesus is.

    1. As you address the contents of your trolley, we pray that God is busy preparing His own trolley full of mercy just for your concerns.

  27. I feel the mercy of the Lord. Until recently, I was one of his lost sheep. The sheep that could see and hear the shepherd calling over many years but would approach the shepherd only for sustenance when needed and then would get lost again.

    This time the Lord has kept me firmly in his pastures but part of me still longs to stray. I still only partake of what I like of the shepherd’s offerings, turning my back on what is not appealing. I don’t have wants or needs and I lead a relatively simple life so the temptation for me is in not following the flock. Or following but moving along a different path. This is something I am still working on but being aware of this makes it easier to handle.

    What hit me the most today was the servitude of the washing of the feet. It seems the Lord has a sense of humor and is now asking me, his sheep who strays, to be his bellwether. Yes, he is asking me to lead some of his flock and to lead them in service. I am overwhelmed and afraid because of the responsibility of the task and the consequence of failure. It is one thing to disappoint man and quite another to disappoint the Lord by failing at a task He has chosen for you. I have felt myself too much of a lost sheep to do this but the passage about the Lord dining with sinners called to me as well.

    I hope this retreat enlightens me and helps me discern what it is the Lord wants of me.

    1. Despite the fact that the Lord spends so much time and energy going after lost sheep, He loves them just the way they are, habitual strayers or not, and worthy of leading other sheep or not.
      We pray for the enlightenment that you seek.

      1. Thank you!
        God has truly been merciful and loving to me. Knowing my own limitations, I want to decline but feel I should not. God appears to have been at work on me lately. Too many coincidences, too many things suddenly falling into place.

  28. Thank you for this online retreat. It gave me a whole new insight into what transpired at the last Supper. I think for the first time I truly understand how this event shows how great is God loves and how merciful he is. I also always assumed Judas had no choice even if it goes contrary to God giving us free will but seeing certain scenes in this Last Supper where Jesus subtly gives him a chance to change has made an imoression on me. It is another story to remember on how great God’s mercy and love is for us his children even how many times we may have hurt him. He does not lose hope in us so we must not lose hope in ourselves or in each other.

  29. Thanks God for the technology.. Being an OFW, not being able to be home during the holy week to observe the season in the Philippines is hard… This retreat touched my inner self as to the hindrances I face going into the open door of our great and merciful God. My baggage is enormous along with my wants and needs…. I pray for the Lord’s guidance and mercy to give me a proper discernment of His plans for my life and to give me the courage to wholeheartedly follow it… Felt so loved despite my sins and failures…
    To God be all glory and praise..

    1. We are praying with you and all those far away who continue to live out and struggle to practice thier faith. Be happy in the realization that going against the tide was something that Jesus was all too familiar with.

    2. Welcome to this online retreat Freddie!
      It is good to hear that this retreat is already touching you. Continue to ask for the grace of proper discernment and the courage to follow it.
      … and savor the feeling of being loved by God.

  30. Thank God for technology! This is an amazing site. I was spiritually refreshed by this online retreat. The song “wanting things” is true, possession and honor is nothing if God is not in control of your life.

  31. Going through the retreat i felt the love and mercy of the Lord, that He will never give up on me and that He will always hope in me, that I will change for the better.

    With this, I would like to thank all who who planned,created and reflected for this very inspiring, grace-filled and meaningful online retreat.

    God bless you all!

    1. I agree with you Leah P. God never give up on us.
      … and even without us changing, God continues to love us.

      We thank the Lord for the graces you received today.
      See you again tomorrow…

  32. Today, I became so amazed at how our Lord can still lovingly deal with Judas despite knowing that He will be betrayed by him. I thought to myself, am I so horrible a person, or is the Lord’s love and mercy just so generous? His sadness must have been too deep and too heavy to bear. I can only hope to have an ounce of all his measure of love.

    1. I’m sure you are not a horrible person, Anonymous. The Lord’s love and mercy is just incredible. Yes, we all pray for that grace to be able to love as He loves.

      1. Thank you, Bro. M. I will keep that in mind and pray when my patience is being tested: Lord, grant me the grace to be able to love as You love us. God bless you.

  33. Thank you to everyone who worked on making this online retreat possible! Sharing my reflections:

    – [7] Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” —- Often, I need to be assured of good results before doing something or trusting someone. Otherwise, I will refuse to do it or do so with a heavy heart. That short passage reminded me to learn how to trust God, who goes before us in all we do.

    – Being mastered by my needs & wants: The need to be correct, to do things perfectly, to control outcomes, and to get recognition. Such practical advice to know what these needs and wants are so we recognize them when it begins to consume us and without even realizing, when they lead us to rely more on ourselves (misplaced sense of pride) than on God’s love for us.

    – God’s infinite mercy: How He loves, forgives, encourages, accepts us is beyond human comprehension and here we are, recipients of all that everyday. Reflecting on this “undeserved” gift, encourages me to be less proud, less judgmental, more open, more forgiving. I have done nothing to deserve God’s goodness, who am I to not try to share that same goodness with others?

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s session!

    1. I agree, Anonymous. Oftentimes, we can limit our concept of attachments to wealth. But there are more subtle ways of being “hooked”. You mentioned affirmation, control, perfection. We need to watch these too!

  34. I realized that the hardest part for me was identifying my needs and wants that lead me to sin. It’s hard I guess because as a parent/wife, I’ve always thought that my needs and wants are not for me alone but for my family – my own (husband and wife) and my original family (as in my parents and siblings).

    My prayer is for discernment – to know which of the things I see as needs are truly needs of my family and not just my wants.

    I was also struck by the part of the retreat that reminds us to include the trolly of others. Often, I get so wrapped up in my own concerns that i fail to see the bigger picture – the problems of others, the problems of our world.

    Thank you Lord for reminding me to pray not just for my own concerns but for those of others as well.

  35. I was especially struck by the reflections on treachery and betrayal. It helped me understand why it is that after so many years, it is still difficult to let it go and forgive completely.

    1. Hello, Anonymous. You are not alone. A lot of comments have mentioned this too. There is something about betrayal that strikes us really hard. But people have also been commenting about God’s infinite mercy. We can ask for a share in that so we can begin our journey to healing and peace.

  36. I’ve been having a lot of difficulty in my spiritual life because it’s like a roller coaster ride; sometimes high and, probably, most of the time low. I realize now that I have to make conscious efforts to get to know God because I have come to the realization that it is always a meeting-halfway. I remember my soul crying out the other day for feeling very sorry for how hard my heart is for God, and perhaps that was the crack that He saw and grabbed just so He can let me come back to His arms. I am thankful that I took the time to do this–thank you, Father, for being an instrument of God to find lost sheep. My conscious efforts to get to know God are: 1. Listen to gospel songs/church music 2. Read books that can enhance my faith..

  37. When I get hurt, I often close the door shut to protect myself and figure out how to numb myself and not get hurt again. After I give love, I want love back and appreciation. I look around and everyone’s holding and looking into a gadget…I end up feeling lonely.
    Jesus demonstrates that Love is about vulnerability, giving of one’s self in service, not giving up on others. Love, mercy and forgiveness — ang hirap, Lord,
    Thank you for the time, effort, creativity and love spent in making this online retreat which has helped us slowly enter into our Lord’s heart. May God’s love always give you hope and faith.

  38. I thank God for leading me to this online retreat!
    Although I am on a staycation, I was atill able to reflect and be in God’s presence.

    This is my prayer in this Maundy Thursday:

    Father, I thank you for giving You Son, Jesus, to us.
    I thank You, Jesus, for showing us the heart of God the Father,
    His mercy and compassion to everyone.

    I ask forgiveness of all my sins committed to You,
    and to all people that I have hurt through these years.

    Teach my heart to be open, compasionate and merciful.
    And most of all, to be forgiving.

    Strenghten my faith and heart. I may not be perfect,
    and maybe struggling, most of the time,
    but I ask for Your guidance.

    All of this I pray,
    In the Holy Name of Jesus

    Through the intercesson of Mary, Mother of God

    Amen.

    1. Thank you for this prayer.

      I always find this online retreat beneficial to my spiritual well being. Aside from the deep reflections provided for the retreatants, the comments are added insights to me as well. Thank you for this opportunity every time we needed to feel the loving presence of God. His mercy, His door is always open for all of us. No matter where we are in our life at the moment. I just lost three loved ones last year. It pains me so much to think about what God must be telling me at this time of great loss. I hold on to my faith and God’s mercy that HE knows everything and I have to trust Him .

  39. Truly appreciate the experience of this online retreat. It got me thinking: Have I been a Judas to my friends? I recently started to feel differently about my friends, feeling out of place and began to withdraw and isolate myself from them. A chance for confession helped me regain my perspective and reconcile with my friends again. Through My Palm Sunday confession, I felt God’s mercy for my pettiness. God forgave me first so that then I can forgive myself! The other insight that came to me is, as a friend to Jesus, what could I have done to ease his pain at the Upper Room? And what can I do now for my friends to ease theirs?

    1. Michiko, thank you.
      Once we experience God’s mercy, we cannot help but give back the love to God and to our neighbor. There’s a multiplier effect. Keep sharing it. :-)

  40. Thank you very much for speaking to me, Lord.
    Thank you very much for not giving up on me. Thank you very much for your unconditional love and mercy. Thank you for your sweet surprises and wonderful blessings. Please teach me to love like Jesus, to open my heart and able to reach out to others, to have mercy and compassion in all that I do. May my life be a pleasing sacrifice to You, Lord.

  41. Thank you for taking the time to prepare this online retreat for us. I feel blessed and affirmed in so many ways.

    God has given me a mission that uses the framework of past mistakes as my main qualification. I am afraid that having one success after the other after so many years of failure is going to my head. Today I am reminded to love God and focus on pleasing Him. He is my master, not the work I do, the people I help, the accolades we’ve been getting.

    The fear of failing again is very real and valid because of my past experiences. But i will keep myself open. I will show mercy, no matter what. I hope that I can be vulnerable but also full of faith so that whatever life throws at me, wherever our foundation ends up, all will be well and it will all be for the greater glory of God.

    Sheep that was lost and is now found.

  42. Thank you for leading us in this online retreat.I am grateful for all the effort and energy you have put in making it available to us.

  43. Our Lord will never give up on me, despite the fact that i repeatedly moved away from Him, consciously and uncounsciously, because of my Possession and Control issues.
    The retreat made me pray for the people who have hurt me. It also gave me the courage to ask forgiveness from the people, whom i love most but have hurt in the past.
    The closing prayer touched me the most

    So please gather me;
    the scattered laughter in me
    Only You can make me whole.
    Come and ease my battered soul.
    Shepherd me –
    Come and lead me home to You.

    Thank you for the team for this! You helped me make my Holy Thursday more meaningful.

    1. I love that song/prayer too. Thank you for sharing, Anonymous. Praying for those who have hurt us is a big step towards our own healing.

  44. I have a great need for recognition. I get recognition for my knowledge, skills, achievements and ambitions. I am motivated by the recognition given to me by others. The downside is, once I am not recognized or once the recognition is not enough, I feel disappointed and discouraged. I lose sight of the primary reason for doing whatever I have set out to do. It becomes all about pleasing others rather than achieving my own goals. Maybe that has been my goal all along, to please others and get the recognition I crave for. I should tell myself that I should do something I want to do, as long as I know it’s right, no matter what other people say, no matter if people will like it or not.

    1. It’s not everyday that we are made to see things clearly about ourselves. Oftentimes, we don’t like what we see but it is always heartening to remember that God has given us a reboot button at our fingertips.

  45. I have thrown the door shut in many people’s faces. For good reason. Just as I have had the door thrown shut at my face. For good reason as well. In our world of sinners, justice is a dark house of closed doors, where it is easier to just stay in your own room.

    It takes great courage to knock at a closed door.
    It takes great love to open one.

    May God, whose door, in a house of locked doors, has always remained open for me, teach me mercy.

    1. Thanks for this, Pheelyp.
      Another way to think about doors- not just about letting other people in, but also allowing ourselves to go out and engage the unfamiliar.
      Prayers.

  46. This is my second time to experience this online retreat and again I feel so blessed. I have shared this to family and friends and I hope they feel blessed too. Thank you so much Fr. J and to the rest of the team.

  47. More blessings to the TEAM who did this on line retreat possible! This reflection today was very touching and deep. thank you very much!

  48. Lord thank you for not giving up on me. You are akways there to guide and protect me despite my shortcomings. I have a lot to give up for you. The addictionI have overpowers me but I know in your mercy I can overcome. I lift it to you Lord and give me the grace to reject this i want so that your death on the cross will become meaningful.

  49. “The Holy Father teaches that such is God’s mercy: It seeks only the smallest opening, and finding it, His mercy rushes in.”
    This, and the idea that He FOLLOWED Judas out into the chaos of the world.
    His love and mercy truly are wondrous things. Thank you for this timely, touching reminder.

  50. I feel so blessed and happy to be part of this online retreat. Its such a great help for me and also for others who are living in other countries, esp where Christianity is not the primary religion. I was able to be silent and reflect once again, to assess myself and to really talk to the Lord. Ive been so busy and distracted living my life, to the way I wanted to, but deep inside I know that Im not happy. There is still that emptiness in me preventing me to be truly happy. That is the guilt of my past sins, which I havent confessed yet, and being unable to forgive myself and the people who have done me wrong.

    I pray for forgiveness, healing and strength to overcome all the sins, temptations and difficulties I am facing right now. I pray to be as forgiving and loving as Jesus (and God) is.

  51. Thank you for this! I highly appreciate what you’ve done on the site. It was a beautiful experience imagining walking with Jesus and in that room. A new insight I discovered today into the meaning of washing feet is that forgiveness and mercy must come from humility…without expecting the recepient to owe us anything or their thankfulness. I also learned that forgiveness and mercy are not just internal acceptance or feelings but must be demonstrated in order to reach out and to melt the heart of the people at the receiving end. It is not from righteousness or pride, that we have to power to forgive and be merciful, because we are in a higher position to do so, but because the value of these people are higher than the acts committed or any circumstance.

  52. Thank you for this very insightful and touching retreat, Father J.I also did your online retreat last year and it helped me a lot. Today’s retreat is very timely as it talked about temptations/needs/wants which I have been struggling with lately. I surely gained a lot of insight from this and realized that my need for approval and control are my weak points.
    I am also grateful for the reminder of God’s boundless mercy and grace.
    I saw the Bible passages in a different light as I understood more why Jesus dealt with Judas that way.
    We are all LOST SHEEP that needs FINDING.
    May we continue this Holy Week retreat with renewed hearts and minds, and continue to pray for MERCY.

    As Pope Francis said,

    “Lord Jesus Christ,
    you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
    and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
    Show us your face and we will be saved.
    Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
    the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
    made Peter weep after his betrayal,
    and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
    Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
    “If you knew the gift of God!”

    You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
    of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
    let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
    You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
    in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
    let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

    Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
    so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
    and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
    proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
    and restore sight to the blind.

    We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of
    Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

    Amen.”

    1. Thank you, Anonymous. I’m glad you were able to see that particular Gospel account with fresh new eyes. More tomorrow.

  53. Modern technology may have its flaws by taking much of our time (esp Prayer time) BUT the experience in this On-Line Retreat suffice over the Negative effetcs .. This us one Proof that our Lord NEVER GIVES UP ON US & WILL ALWAYS REACH OUT TO GATHER US IN HIS ARMS –
    Thank you to the peole behind this retreat – thank you to Friends who have shared this ~ may Mire Blessings be showered on you all to reach more people & share God’s Love to humanity ,

    1. What you said about God using all means to reach out to us is so true. We can only follow His lead in using technology to tell more people about reclaiming the essentials.

  54. Hello Po, this is my first time to do the online retreat, it was awesome, I reflect confortable in my room. I understand fully the Holy Thursday, what’s happens in upper room. Like Jesus don’t give up to changed others hearts to receive mercy and also in within us. Thank you very much Fr.J

    1. It is nice to see that you have found God where you are and we pray that you will continue to meet Him in the next few days of silent reflection :)

  55. How timely this retreat is for me. I’m currently in a crossroad wherein I’m finding it hard to discern which is God’s will for me. I have so many options but none offer all that I want or need. I came to realize that maybe my want/need for honor, possession and control has taken over me that is why I’m faced with this difficulty. May I be able to follow what Jesus did who so selflessly gave up his honor, possession and control. I am one with all of you in prayer. God bless!

    1. These are good fruits from Day 1 of the retreat! I hope you can continue your dialogue with the Lord about these matters for the remainder of the online retreat.

  56. once again, pinsoflight touched me like no other. may God grace me with the blessing of forgiving who who have wronged me and let me find joy in reaching out to that lost sheep.

    1. In some ways, we are all lost sheep, Anonymous.
      And with God’s grace, we can help lead each other back to the fold. See you tomorrow.

  57. This is my first time to have this online retreat. I thank the creator of this on-line retreat. I was deeply touched to the innermost part of myself while I followed the retreat. And, I profoundly realized that this despite the love I received in my life by the people around me still I crave for more that I turned to become SELFISH and EGOISTIC. But, through this retreat I am conscienticized that millions of people around me even those who are near me need to be loved. So, at the end of this retreat I will pray to the Lord before the altar of repose for forgiveness from being shortsighted, egoistic and selfish and resolved with the grace of God to Love and be MERCIFUL and GENEROUS to those who need be loved especially the unlovable.

    1. We thank the Lord for the realization that you have experienced and we pray for more light to come in the following days :)

  58. I am so thankful that I was lead to this online retreat… i have been wanting to do this, searching and asking where I could fit in, I have heard an announcement from an parish where I often join on the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, but then there’s time problems, or is it TEMPTATION NOT TO winning… And today, GOD SO GOOD LED ME TO THIS…ONLNE RETREAT… Making my online desires met on a productive way… Thanks to those who are behind this. The experience HIT me most about how i was so hurt by a friend whom I shared even my secret sin who betrayed me, until now, I still feel the hurt when I think of her, when I will see her, though I have forgiven her long ago but the pain is still much felt or is it paranoia? Realizing that this is how much it hurts me but I havent thought of another one who is hurt also because of that secret sin of mine… By the retreat, GOD has answered my prayers, questions… He LOVE ME SO MUCH He made a way for me to see that He does not grant my request…because this is where i am WEAK..and where I am weak, the EVIL wins..thank you JESUS for leading me the way… I lay down to you my relationships with my friends, with my husband, with my children… PLEASE TAKE THE WHEEL…

    1. Healing from the experience of betrayal takes time. How I wish it could be easier for everyone. Stay courageous and keep praying for peace for the two of you.

  59. Thank you ive been blessed and nourished by this retreat today. Ive never been as focused on how Jesus felt in His last daya. Wonderful insights as we remember his love and mercy for us sinners and even flawed follower like me.looking forward to next day. Thank u.

  60. It’s a beautiful retreat that touched and moved everyone.From the opening to the end,God showed to us His Mercy. He forgives all our sins.We just have to believe in His Word,Word of God.I liked the song Gather Me.

  61. I am sort of a strict person, bound by my own rules. Sometimes I forget that I am human, by nature sinful. I find it hard most of the time to forgive my own sins and this prevented me from forgiving others easily too. The Jubilee of Mercy opened by our current Pontiff reminded me that God is full of immeasurable mercy. That faults and mistakes are opportunity to grow and that no matter how many times we fall, we are never a failure if we continue trying and work for the better. Before my image of God is a distant and indifferent God. But little by little, I come to understand that God allows sin to rule us at times because it is challenge that we are up to take. Maybe I have a lot other issues to tackle about myself but it is God’s mercy that strengthens me now. I know that whatever happens, there is a loving arms ready to catch me in-spite of pains and sorrow I caused him. I am just a microscopic dot in the universe but I know that I have a God who sees me and cares for me.

    1. I think God never gives up trying to win us back. When trials come, I think they are not so much to “test” us as they are opportunities to see how faithful God is. Thanks for sharing, Marlon. Hope you can join us for Day 2.

  62. Thank you for thoughts on the Upper Room, especially on your emphasis on God’s unfathomable mercy. I was able to go to confession yesterday and the priest also emphasized the Lord’s never-ending mercy to us. I am no longer afraid(and ashamed)to frequent the sacrament of reconciliation.

  63. I’m glad to have taken this retreat. It felt like God was talking to me. It made me more aware how our needs and wants can lead and mislead our lives. This experience has leveled up my desire to follow our Lord Jesus Christ’s example and message before he redeemed us for our sins. I know I will continue to be challenged by life but I also know that I have a loving and merciful God will never leave me and will always continue to look for me whenever I will get lost.

  64. I am so grateful for this online retreat. As a nurse, I am often tempted to prioritize honor, possession and control. Today’s retreat just gave me a “wake up call” on the way I must live my life. Service and humility are the reasons why I exist and became a NURSE. And on day 1 of this retreat, I realized that my profession is not purely accidental and I must learn to manage my Needs and Wants if I desire to follow Christ.

    1. thanks for sharing, nurse quennie.
      Nursing is a noble profession with plenty of opportunities to make others feel God’s mercy.

      Let me share this with you:

      “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

      -St. Teresa of Avila

  65. Thank you !!!

    Even with the ebb and flow of what I feel, am so comforted by Jesus’ unconditional and unending love and mercy… Not only for me but for loved ones and everyone.

    “Only You can make me whole. Come and ease my battered soul. Shepherd me – come and lead me home to you.”

  66. I was struck by Jesus also going out into the night to embrace our chaos and our wretchedness. When we are in pain and in deep suffering, sometimes we fail to see and feel God’s presence…a sense of abandonment envelopes us. But Jesus is the Good Shepherd. When we find it difficult to go back to God, we can trust Him to find us and bring us back to the fold and heal us. I am reminded of this song from Hangad. Let us allow the truth of God’s unconditional love and mercy touch our hearts.

    Hindi ka kailangang magbago
    Kahit ito’y mas ibig Ko.
    Hindi ka kailangang magsikap nang husto
    Upang ika’y ibigin Ko.

    Iniibig kita, manalig ka sana
    Ako’y kapiling mo
    Kahit ikaw pa ma’y mapalayo.

    Kailan magwawakas ang ‘yong pagtatago?
    Ako’y maghihintay sa ‘yo.
    Lumapit ka lamang ang puso Ko’y hagkan;
    Pag-ibig ko’y walang hanggan.

    Iniibig kita, manalig ka sana
    Ako’y kapiling mo
    Kahit ikaw pa ma’y mapalayo.

  67. Experiencing His passion in this world gives me more stregth to be brave as He is.
    Forgiving those people whom we loved so much cuts deepest wounds in our hearts and as we continue to love them it pierced our hearts the most but looking forward to the graces behind those hurtful experiences and feelings is what matters the most as it brings us to Mercy.

    1. Yes! When we realize how strong this God is and how much He cares enough to accompany us, we are graced with the courage we need to face all our hurts and difficulties.

  68. thank you for this retreat the last song says it all I want to be gathered and comforted in HIS arms and be sheltered from this weary world.

  69. Jesus has shown the way to keep the need for possessions, honor and control from becoming wants (riches, fame, power) is by sharing, by keeping ourselves humble and by letting Him take control of our lives. I expect to fall many times despite my earnest desire to be a faithful follower of Christ, but I know that He will always be there to help me get up, His Love and Mercy will always comfort and heal me.

    I’d also like to add: We are celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy and yet we see many terrible things happening all around us, a glaring example of which are the recent terrorist attacks in Yemen and Brussels. I feel sad and helpless. I do not know how the rest of the world will react to stop these crimes, or if they ever will. I think of all the victims and would-be victims, esp. the Middle Eastern Christians. I carry them with me in this retreat. And I pray for the terrorists, the lost sheep. May God’s Mercy be upon them.

    1. I am putting these militants and terrorists in one trolley (I got a caravan of them) to push through God’s door of mercy. May God’s mercy fill their hearts with love for their fellowmen.

      1. I thought of them too and their victims. I hope and pray with you that all these chaos will come to an end soon.

  70. Some doors/hearts are closed as a result of the experience of hurt, betrayal. A closed door serves a purpose – for protection, self-preservation. A deeply wounded heart needs time to heal. Am praying for the grace of healing and forgiveness. Requesting for your prayers. God bless.

  71. Thank you for posting Day 1 of your online retreat. I have so much to ponder on today.

    I came to this retreat wanting all of the things you mentioned — money, possession, honor. When I was much younger and I had dreams and the world at my feet, I thought I would have those in abundance given the plans I had set out to do in order to possess those things. But my life has turned out so differently from my plans, and now, as a single woman taking care of elderly folk, I barely have any of those. Not enough money, hardly any time, hardly any honor for I have to actually literally chase after my compensation for services rendered. When you work freelance, sadly, that appears to be the practice. It is a slow, simmering death of honor and humiliating to wait and see when your checks will come and IF it would come in time to pay the bills and put food on the table. I actually tried applying for a low level corporate position in a company because the unstable pay was just getting to me. The rejection was hard to take. It blindsided me. I wonder if I’m too old. I feel like the world is passing me by, and I wonder if what I have to offer still means anything.

    I now come to this retreat, feeling beaten down by life, thinking whether I should continue dreaming or not … Last night, I realized, I probably ditched my dreams years ago. When my father passed, suddenly, there was the responsibility of being the breadwinner. I tried to take on jobs that would marry my dreams and my need to provide. Now, all I have is the need to provide and I can barely manage.

    They say you know more when you are in your forties. Right now, I feel lost in a sea of things to do for my family, for other people … And not really receiving much in return. I feel like a headless chicken sometimes, which is not good when you have people you have to take care of.

    I feel like I lost myself along the way … Maybe this is a Midlife Crisis of sorts, I don’t know. All I know is, I need and want a better me, so I can be better for them.

    Funny, but as I was reading today’s post, I actually thought about the song “Wanting Things” even before I saw the song being brought up in the discussion. So today’s post really hit me. I feel this year’s retreat will speak to me.

    The Bible passages made me think of the word “legacy”. How Jesus treated the disciples made me think, He wanted to create something important for them. That is one thing I consider my angst. What kind of legacy will I have, given the life I lead now? I want to find out if I have any dreams worth salvaging, or whether I should just forget about dreaming. When you have bills and responsbilities, you just forget everything else, it seems. And you find yourself angry, resentful, numb and just crumbling inside.

    Anyway, I am sure something will happen before Easter comes. Thank you for giving me the tools to examine my life.

    1. Sometimes, when we find ourselves lost we tend to panic and frantically consult maps and whatnot, which only succeed in making us more jittery. We have learned from the points in today’s retreat that Jesus follows us in the darkness. Let us be consoled by that image of Him going after us. Moving targets are harder to hit so the slow pace of this online retreat will help us to slow down or even stop and wait to allow ourselves to be ‘found’ by God.

  72. As I reflected on the Last Supper and tried to put myself in Jesus loving heart, I realized that what may have troubled Jesus the most was that he knew what Judas would experience after he betrayed Jesus. His heart must have bled for Judas because he knew Judas would go through darkness, deep anguish, remorse and despair. When Jesus dipped the morsel and handed it to Judas, he must have given him the consecrated bread and wine – his body and blood – an offfering of his covenant love, a promise that he would still love Judas. When we are betrayed, it will help us forgive and pray for those who hurt us if we realize that their sin of betrayal will weigh heavier on their soul than the hurt we feel.

    1. Agree with Queenie that this is a good reflection. I never thought of the situation from this point of view. Truly, God’s love and grace is much, much greater than our faults and failures.

    2. Given God’s mercy, I have a nagging suspicion that even to this day, Jesus has not given up on Judas. We continue to pray for him and all the other ‘Judases’ in our life.

  73. -that in life it is not possession, honor and control that matters but humility and service.

    God will never shut His door in anyone’s face. No one is ever locked out. He never gives up reaching out even to those with the hardest hearts.

    I have been betrayed but I have forgiven and forgotten. With God’s mercy I have started over again even loving my “traitor” unconditionally. The process did not happen overnight. It was a long process of contemplation and prayer as well as faith that God will allow me to forgive and offer my mercy to that person so I can freely give my love again.

    God had made me whole again. I have received His mercy as I have given it back to another person. The process of forgiveness to my “traitor” has allowed me to embrace life fully and become more humble and giving to others. It has also allowed me to realize that life is not about what we possess materially but it is about what is inside our heart and what we can give to other people. In the end, we become happy because we take each day as it comes with what we are given and that we believe that God is an ever merciful God and we have to believe in that mercy whole heartedly and without question. Just the way He believed in us that by giving up His life for all of us we will also find in our hearts to do the same- to love unconditionally and to have a faith that wholeheartedly believes.

    Thank you for another meaningful Holy Thursday retreat.

    The retreat in 2014 was a turning point in my life and it has allowed me to receive the mercy of God. I pray that everyone will also find that meaning from this year’s retreat and may this also become a “life changing” moment in another one’s life.

    Believe because God is merciful and He always keeps His promise!

  74. Salamat. Salamat sa pagmulat na hindi tayo perpekto. Na mahal pa rin tayo kahit may pagkukulang tayo. Na may naghihintay sa ating pagbabago. Na kaya din nating tularan.

    Salamat.

  75. I have finished your Online Retreat. I was refreshed and I needed an inventory of my life which lead to three basic Ignatian questions: “What have I done for Christ?”. “What am I doing for Christ?”, and “What will I do for Christ?”

  76. I was moved as I went
    through the retreat. But I am left with a question that is making it harder for me to decide to be more merciful loke Jesus….what is the result of mercy? I felt bothered in the end that Judas’ heart was not changed :/ (my control issues are showing :)

    1. That’s OK, Iya.

      Lots of people came after Judas and did the same. It only goes to show that God’s mercy in unconditional. He will continue to risk it and be vulnerable. That is how God loves us. How lucky we are.

  77. The insight on possession, honor, and control growing into riches, fame, and power was relevant and helpful. And thank you for including the teachings of St Ignatius on understanding temptation and sin.

    I offer a prayer for Pins of Light and this on-line retreat. May you never get tired in this mission of reaching our to the lost sheep. May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire you.

    A lost sheep just found

    1. Hi. We will never get tired because there are people like you who continue to participate and share the fruits with others.

      God bless you!

      1. Thank you. I started participating in this on-line retreat last year. This is my second time.

        God bless to all of you.

  78. I’m doing your Holy Week retreat, the Holy Thursday one.

    Some thoughts:

    Most of the time, I thought Jesus was afraid for himself, for his suffering and death. What I realized going through the passages, Was that he was as afraid, and perhaps more afraid for those he will left behind: what will happen to them when I’m gone? They’re not ready. Are they ready? Will they suffer too? But I won’t be with them to protect them. How can I leave them at this time, in this way?

    The anguish of him abandoning them must weigh as much as his own fears about himself, if not more. He knows he is going to the Father. That must be assuring for him. But for those he will left behind, he knows they do not yet have that faith.

    So he wishes their feet, so that he can assure them. Or maybe so he can bring with him the memory and sensation of feeling their skin. He give them his body and blood, so that perhaps, in doing so, they will be less afraid, with a part of him still with them when he is gone.

    All these reflections are really coming from being a father to a 4 year old boy. Being a father at a late age, or maybe just being a father, since other parents I talk to feel this way, makes me worry about what will happen to my son if something bad happens to me. That fear sometimes makes me awake at night. I know of parents who think the same way.

    What I am trying to deepen, coming from the retreat, is God’s mercy. For me. For my son. That his mercy will see us through, no matter what happens. Please pray for me so that that grace of truly believing in his mercy will help me be at peace.

    I’m at the part of the temptations of sin. Not having enough faith in God’s mercy that he will take care of my son, whatever happens, is a temptation I need to guard against. Wanting to be in control, not allowing God’s mercy, to take over, is a big temptation, for me, for any parent. You are wired, as a parent, to do everything to care for your child, to prepare everything to make his life good. It becomes difficult to give a space for God to do his work of mercy.

    Prayers for me. Prayers for my child, especially, as you do your masses this Holy Week.

    1. Your take on Jesus’s concern for his disciples despite the things that were happening to Him struck a chord with me. Parents like you, and everyone who has experienced being responsible for someone else, can surely relate to this and will make it a little easier for them to understand why Jesus did some of the things He did.
      I shall continue to pray for you during this whole retreat experience that you may continue to see things in a special light.

    2. Your reflection about Jesus’ anguish about the people He will leave behind struck me. I have always viewed this as Jesus being fearful for himself and His impending death. The realizations you shared made me pause and think. I’d like to think that Jesus is selfless enough to fear more for those who will be left behind. This is something I will continue to ponder on throughout this Holy Thursday. Thank you and may you have a blessed Holy Week.

    3. Thank you for this, a rare exposition of how fathers feel about their children (since fathers are usually the “silent type”). I am happy that your son has a father like you who cares deeply about his future. May your tribe increase and I pray that we can all trust in God with a childlike, completely-surrendering trust. God bless!

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