Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive.
And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Today’s Gospel holds a special place in my heart. As a high school campus minister, I heard this passage read as part of evening prayer on 18 Kairos retreats. We used this Gospel story for two primary reasons: first, to introduce students to Ignatian contemplation, using their imagination to enter into the story, and secondly, to underscore St. Ignatius’s encouragement to retreatants to ask God for the grace we seek.
In prayer, it can feel so daring to ask for what we need. And yet, this is an essential dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises and of the spiritual life more broadly. We are invited to befriend our deepest desires, to turn to God and name that which we seek.
Here, in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus asks the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
I imagine Jesus is asking me, “What do you want me to do for you?”
How do I respond?
—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division; she serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House and the Advisory Board of Jesuit Connections.
Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.
—Excerpt of the Suscipe of St. Ignatius of Loyola
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