As you begin your retreat, pause for a few moments and allow yourself to grow still. Let go of any distracting thoughts. Take several slow, deep breaths. Become aware of God's unconditional love for you.
"I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners."
Jesus used a very simple sentence to convey the fundamental purpose of his mission-God loves sinners. Unlike the scribes and Pharisees of his time who excluded such people, Jesus' message was to hate the sin but love the sinner. That's what his actions proclaimed. Jesus ate with outcasts, healed those possessed by evil spirits, befriended a tax collector, and spoke with Samaritans. Unheard-of behavior from one who claims to be God's Son! Today we know that isolating sinners from the healing touch of Jesus goes against God's very self. God keeps vigil for us until we repent and rejoices when the sinful one returns home. God counts on us to carry on the mission of Jesus.
How might I explain Jesus' mission using examples from today's headlines?
How do I carry out Jesus' healing mission in my daily life?
(Speak to God using this prayer or one of your own.)
God of love, help me be an instrument of your forgiveness.