As you prepare to begin a new catechetical year, take a few moments in prayer, reflecting on how the first day of classes might begin. Imagine Jesus visiting you in your office.
Pause for a few moments to be still. Relax and turn your focus inward. Recognize that God is with you as you continue the journey of faith.
It is September. It is also the first day of faith formation sessions. How are you feeling? Anxious, excited, fearful, joyous, peaceful? You ready yourself at home; you go through the checklist in your mind; then off you go. What thoughts enter in as you travel the familiar route to your office?
You arrive. Do you see that checklist again in your mind? You struggle to find the keys to unlock all the doorways you need to pass through. Now you enter your “home away from home”; the lights go on, revealing all the materials gathered for the first session. How are you feeling at this moment?
Before you even get the opportunity to sit a moment to collect your thoughts, the phone rings and challenges begin.
Imagine now that you have responded to the call; you still have time to sit and review what needs to be done before everyone enters. As you sit in the quiet of the office, you hear footsteps coming down the hall or up the steps. Since it is normal to have visitors the first day, you turn to see who this could be. It is Jesus. What is your reaction?
You invite him in and offer him a seat after moving the stuff that occupied the chair. Jesus reclines and greets you. Then Jesus looks at you with great peace and says, “Thank you for your ministry to my children and their families. Thank you for bringing me into your heart before you left home today. Most especially, thank you for the energy, time, and commitment you have made to bring others into friendship with me.”
How do his words make you feel? You humbly look over at your guest and in some way thank him for his supportive words. What do you say to him? Jesus then stands; he offers a special prayer for you this first day. He raises his arms and hands as if he will embrace you; he shares a prayer. Listen to his blessing. What does he say? How does this make you feel? Jesus ends the prayer saying, “You are my disciple. I love you.” His open arms then embrace you. Can you feel his embrace? You again give thanks in whatever way is comfortable.
Jesus knows that your time is short and a rush of activity will begin very soon. He turns toward the doorway, glances back at you and says, “Remember, wherever two or three are gathered, I am there.” You say goodbye in your own way. Your heart is full. This is not just another first day of faith formation sessions. You are more aware than ever that Jesus is with you and your ministry. How does all of this make you feel?
Stop and turn toward Jesus as he leaves your office and say, “I am so glad you came.”
For a daily prayer break online, try the 3-Minute Retreat.