On June 11th, many members of the parish were able to spend time with each other for a Day of Retreat under the guidance of Jesse Cox, Director of Campus Ministry at Marygrove College. For the next three weeks we are going to reprint highlights from his talks in order that we can all be “on the same page” when we meet for a follow-up mini retreat in August 6 from 9:00am to Noon, here at Nativity. The title of Jesse’s first talk was: “Thankful for What Was and Hopeful for What Will Be…..”
…..The symbol of the SANKOFA is of a bird facing forward while looking back. The Sankofa is an African symbol and it literally means "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot". Today I want to invite you to plant your feet firmly toward the future yet reach back and cherish the past, using the lessons of what was to inform and create a future filled with hope!
…..Today is about transitions, transformation, and thanksgiving: thanksgiving for what was, transformation as a result of what is, embracing the transitions that both disorient us and redirect our lives.
…..In our own lives of faith, we are called to be liberated and be the liberating presence of God. Moses had to undergo a transformation and conversion-several times before he was ready to, reluctantly, accept the call to free the enslaved Hebrews from Egypt. So too are we called to constant transformation and conversion, it’s the process through which God pries us loose from the places where we take refuge. God places us in the midst of the world so that we can be a living reminder that God’s presence is available to all.
…..Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Today finds us at a crossroads....a place of opportunity.....
What opportunity is God inviting you to accept, what path is being opened before you?
…..“If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you always got. In order to get what you never got, you’ve got to do what you’ve never done!”
…..Today, the scripture ask us to focus on our call, our mission, the invitation from God to be Good News, God's healing, a friend and neighbor, companion for the journey, models of forgiveness.
…..When we pray the Our Father, we are asking that God give us the grace to give to those we minister to and among, what they need in that particular moment. Effective prayer is letting God get the last word in!
…..During our day of prayer....let’s put our guards down and open our hearts, so that we hear clearly God's call to embrace more deeply our faith, to live it passionately and to share it indiscriminately.
…..So for a few minutes I want you to take some time and reflect on the grace and blessings in your life that you are thankful for, I want you to reflect upon how you respond to those blessings and what that requires and finally, what transformation must happen in you if you embrace the call you have received from God?