“My favour rests on you.”

Mark 1:11

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Mark 1:7-11

God is always delighting in us. We are created by God, chosen by God and called by God as beloved sons and daughters. Yes, in a different way to Jesus who was The Son, but nonetheless, a precious child of God, unique and unrepeatable in all of history.

At his baptism, Jesus experienced an intense moment of favour and delight from the Father through the Spirit. After this, Mark tells us Jesus went into the desert where Satan tested him. He needed this experience to strengthen him and give him a rock-sure sense of his identity so that he would not be shaken when things got difficult. He would be able to lean into the knowledge that he was God’s Son, the Beloved.

There are moments of particular consolation in our lives in which we may experience God’s love in a powerful way. We may not remember our own baptisms, but there may be other times when we have experienced God delighting in us. Perhaps the birth of a child, a day of making a life commitment such as getting married, or maybe graduation may have been times when we have felt God’s love in a more significant way than usual. It could also have been on an ordinary day, seemingly out of nowhere that we experience the gift of God’s affirming love. These moments remind us of the essence of what is important – who we are created to be and how loved we are.

Think of some experiences you have had where you felt God’s presence and love in a significant way. Write them down, savour them and go back to them often, especially when life is difficult, and we feel God is far away.

Gracious God,

Help us to savour times of consolation in which we know we are loved and chosen by you. May such times be a source of strength when we feel desolate and cannot sense your presence easily.

Amen.

 
Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
See more from Annemarie Paulin-Campbell
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