Nóirín Ní Riain sings the Magnificat, the song of Mary. As I listen to this music can I recognise the presence of God here with me now?
As you begin this time of prayer, pay attention to whatever you can hear around you. You might be somewhere very quiet, or you might be in a busy public space. You may only be able to hear the music which accompanies this reflection. Whatever the sounds are, and wherever you are, notice the different sounds and where they come from. Now bring your attention inwards and concentrate on the sounds that are closest to you. Let all of the other sounds fade, just hold on to those closest to you. Now leave those sounds, and let them, too, fade into the background. Find a quiet place within yourself, and simply rest there for a while. And now, hear God’s word spoken into that quiet place as we hear the reading from the Prophet Zephaniah (see reading support text).
Reflection Sing aloud! Rejoice! Exult. For a moment, just reflect on the feeling of joy in the Scripture you’ve just heard.
“The King of Israel is in your midst…” As you begin this Retreat, where is Christ in your life? Are you as joyful as the Prophet Zephaniah, or as the baby John the Baptist in acknowledging Christ’s presence in the world?
Do not fear O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. Are there times when you have allowed fear to get in the way of your discipleship? Are you fearful that people will judge you adversely for being a Christian? Are you daunted by the task entrusted to you by the Lord?
As you hear the reading again, listen out for the phrase, “in your midst.” What feelings does it stir in you?
He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will renew you in his love. God rejoices over us! The Creator rejoices in the created. As you conclude this part of the Retreat, think about that wonderful fact: God rejoices over you with gladness! You are loved by him already.
Our Lady of the Journey, show me the way to reach the Father, at the side of your Son. Amen.