The Parish Mission in the parish enters its fourth phase , and the participants are having their retreat this weekend. The retreat is the highlight of the entire process which begins with census taking, home visits, home masses, the retreat itself and the building up of cell groups in the Neighbourhood Christian Communities. Today I was invited to join in the first part where there was a talk on faith and trusting the Lord. The gospel passage was on Peter walking on water, and how he lost focus later on. The point is, as Mike so wisely pointed out, Peter did indeed walk on water. I was impressed by the way Mike was able to break the word so well. He had lovely power point slides and I especially liked the photos of him and his son. The photos spoke clearly of the love of the father and the son. And in that we were invited to see the love of God the Father for His children. Praise God! Everything seemed crystal clear to me!
What about us then? Have we the courage to imitate Jesus and walk on water? That calls for faith and trust certainly. I would say that the stronger and deeper the trust, the greater the level of faith. Remember the Divine Mercy picture with the words Jesus, I trust in you!
On this topic of faith, we had a great testimony by a parishioner who spoke eloquently. To sum it up, she was able to detect the hand of God in the entire episode which concerned her loved one and one of her employees. The four words Leave It To God from the investigating officer said it all. Plus, a text message by a friend Augustine who was prompted to do so when he was asked later on. He had sent a message that was so reassuring. In those two signs, the hand of God was clearly present and indeed, all things worked out perfectly well. God took control and saw that His children were well taken care of. Praise the Lord!
The grace to proclaim the Word of God was given to me, and I was happy to do so at our Eucharistic celebration. During the Mass, there were the short homily and then an elaborate teaching and meditation on Zacchaeus from the Gospel of Luke. It was the third time I was looking at the slides as I had been there for two other retreats in phases one and two. It was truly wonderful. This third teaching on Zacchaeus was completely different, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit was evident on the priest to minister differently.
Later on, after the session, someone remarked that each retreat was different. Yes, indeed, our Lord knows what the needs of each group are, and He provides accordingly. Praise God! We all serve a mighty God of power and compassion!