The first silent retreat I went on was eight days long. It was terrible. I couldn’t focus in prayer. I was intimidated by my spiritual director. By day four I was talking to myself. Worst of all was the silence I got from God. After all, I had taken the risk of signing up for eight days of silence in the hope that God would have something to say to me, and for eight long days I got nothing.
When the retreat was over, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. But I still clung to the desire that had led me there in the first place: to know and love Jesus more deeply. So, a few days after the retreat, I went to the chapel. With as much heart as I could muster (which really wasn’t much at that point), I prayed, “Lord, come into my life, enter my heart, and make it your home.”
I suddenly heard, within the ear of my heart, two words spoken clearly and with force: “MAKE ROOM!”
With abrupt clarity I saw that my heart had been so full of distractions, agendas, plans, and anxieties, there was no place for Jesus to hang his hat in there, much less make his home!
Sometimes what looks on the surface like rejection is actually an invitation. I thought God’s silence during my retreat was a rejection, but it was really an invitation to be free from what had been tangling my heart.
In the Gospel today, what appears to be Jesus’ rejection of his own family is really an invitation to all people to join that family—to hear the word of God and to do it. It is the tempter’s work to make us believe we are rejected by God, so let us recognize the “rejections” we experience as an invitation from the Lord to be free for something great.
Kalene Morris ‘12MTS
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