So they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.

Again, I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve heard that Gospel proclaimed to me. But in listening to Msgr. Ramacciotti homily following that, it wasn’t until yesterday that the message of that Gospel came to light in my mind. Msgr. asked us and now I ask you – does it really matter what time of the day it was? It did to John. It was the first time that John saw the Messiah – the Chosen One – and it changed his life forever on that day about four in the afternoon.

As Msgr. pointed that out, my mind began to drift about when it was that I truly encountered Christ for the first time. It was on my Junior Retreat while at Prep North. We had just finished dinner and Msgr. Telthorst asked us all to go back to the Chapel (at the Marianist Retreat Center on Highway 109). It was dark and he led a meditation for all of us. He asked us to find a quiet place in the Chapel and proceeded to talk to us, using a method of concentrating all of our stress into one single point on our body and then letting it go. After going through that, he began a reflection on Jesus and his ministry and the importance of having a personal relationship with Him. At one point he asked us to think about a favorite place and to imagine ourselves at that place and to invite Jesus to come there. And then…

It was about eight in the evening and I was on a huge swing that was on a bluff overlooking a body of water. As I was swinging I fealt somebody pushing me and when I turned my head to look – it was Jesus there pushing. It was the most powerful religious experience to see Him there with me and we talked to each other about just everything. It was that evening of our last night on retreat that I received Jesus into my heart and made Him a personal friend of mine. Just as John witnessed the time in yesterday’s Gospel (because how do you ever forget a moment as powerful as witnessing the Messiah), I too can remember vividly the day, the moment I came to know Jesus personally.

Have you had that experience?

Do something great for our Lord today – recall the time it was when you “first saw” the Messiah. If you haven’t yet, today is no better time than to start that personal relationship with Jesus. I can tell you from experience, you’ll remember that time forever.

I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.

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