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Find time to be with Jesus alone

By Juliana Valdez

“Come back to me, with all your heart, don’t let fear keep us apart….”

The words of this hymn are like an invitation to us annually during the season of Lent, a time given to us by Mother Church in her wisdom, for reflection, meditation, and repentance.

The aim? To facilitate a deeper, more intimate relationship with Almighty God.

It also serves as a preparation time for commemorating the death and Resurrection of Jesus at Easter.

The guidelines used during this time are referred to as the four pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting, abstinence and almsgiving. Through these pillars, we are able to remove the obstacles which prevent us from developing and maintaining a closer relationship with Jesus.

Our Lenten observances enable us to spend more time with Jesus through prayer, meditation and scripture reading.

The fasting and abstinence where we give up/stay away from things, is a sacrifice we make, and it allows us to recognise our dependence on Almighty God to see us through for the forty-day duration of the season.

The almsgiving is an act of gratitude for all that we have received from God and an act of love to those less fortunate among us. All these ways include giving of our time, treasure, and talent.

Viewing the programme, Treasures of our Faith, from the 2013 archives of the Trinity TV network, a lot was gained from the topic of that particular episode, ‘Living for Jesus Alone.’

With hosts Fr John Theodore CSSp, Keith Patrick and Celia Regis, viewers, through the discussion and scripture references, were given a clearer insight as to what God is asking of us, a closer and deeper relationship with Him.

The first scripture reference used was from the gospel of Mark 3:13 where we are told that Jesus desired first, the companionship of the apostles, before sending them out on mission.

In the gospel of John 15:4, we are also reminded that we have to abide/stay in Jesus, if not, we will not bear fruit. So, our relationship with Jesus takes precedence over the work we perform in His name.

Fr Theodore shared, we must find time to be with Jesus alone. If we are too busy working for Him, yet spend no time with/ignore Him, then our lives will not have the fulfilment desired.

He said there is no life in the things (work) of Jesus if we fail to spend time with Him. Spending time in the presence of Jesus, expresses the depths of our love for Him.

Fr Theodore also shared:

  • The call of the Lord is not more important than the Lord of the call.
  • The work of the Lord must not replace the Lord of the work.
  • The word of God is not more important than the God of the word.

In the gospel of John, Fr Theodore reminded us that when Jesus encountered Peter before He ascended into Heaven, He asked Peter on three occasions, “Peter, do you love me?” before entrusting him with the mission of feeding His sheep and lambs. Love for Jesus then, is the qualification we need to work for Him.

Fr Theodore even coined a new beatitude, “Blessed are those who know and love Jesus, He is the friend who will never forsake us!”

As we journey through this season of Lent, let us, in spite of all the adversity around, make the time to spend with Jesus, acknowledging that His is the only presence we cannot do without.

In His presence, may we hear His voice: “Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.”