Today is Monday the 17th of March, the Feast of St Patrick.

‘Christ be near at either hand’.  Let me make these simple words my prayer today.  Let me know Christ’s presence in my life, Christ’s closeness to me in every moment of this day, and let me welcome that presence with an open heart.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

When the pairs of disciples come back to Jesus thrilled with what had happened while they had been out on the mission he gave them, it is quite clearly a joyful moment. He set them quite detailed instructions for that mission – basically, travel light and keep it simple – and it looks like that was good advice. And here they are now, back with him and reunited with each other, smiles on their faces. Is there a smile on Jesus’ face too?

Where have been moments of deep satisfaction in your experience? Can you ponder any moment that comes to you now, when you might have felt rather like those friends of Jesus? 

Do you notice or recall what led to this satisfaction, this joy – were you able to keep it simple, were you able to travel light, keeping your focus only on what was good and true in your dealings with people you met on your journey? When you report back to Jesus, is there a smile on your face? On His?

Listen again to the story from the Gospel of Luke. This time, try to picture that excitement, that joy, that thrill. And try, too, to imagine how Jesus greeted them on their return. What are his own sentiments at this moment? Can you ask Him to share them with you?

Perhaps it comes to you now that you felt something rather different, that the demons got in the way, spoiling your joy or not letting you rejoice in the good moments. Take that to the Lord now, ask Him for the grace to know, deep in your heart, that your name is written in heaven.