Weekly Reflection from the CPLO and the Jesuit Institute for the week of the 13 February 2017

A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” Luke 9:35

If we look at our lives and relationships do we not see the dramatic difference between relationships based on fear as opposed to those based in friendship? A relationship based on fear or dependency is one we enter into unwillingly or with reservation. It is unequal and based on need. Quite often, it’s about what each can get from the other, a constant and usually unequal negotiation of everything: resources in exchange for services, love in exchange for loyalty. It plays out in so many aspects of our lives: loyalty to one’s employer in exchange for salary, perks and promotions; faithfulness to one’s partner in exchange for presents or livelihood.

At its most brutal the basis of such covenants are rooted in fear: fear of abuse and violence. If we relate to God in ways similar to these we are engaging in a sick version – a perversion literally – of God’s covenant with us.

God’s covenant which we encounter in Jesus is not perverted, not a cosmic mirror of such unhealthy treaties. It is a covenant of love, an invitation, not a command carrying threats of savage retribution, to friendship with the God we see in Jesus Christ. For even as we see Jesus transfigured today, we see one who comes not in power but in love, a love that is willing to die for us.

For prayer today take a moment to sit quietly with your eyes shut and image Jesus looking at you with love. What might Jesus say to you today?

This reflection is taken from Deepening Friendship with God: Daily Reflections for Lent

By Anthony Egan SJ, Trevor Hudson, Russell Pollitt SJ

Available from the Jesuit Institute contact us at lent@jesuitinstitute.org.za

Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Fr Anthony Egan SJ (born Cape Town 1966; entered the Jesuits 1990; ordained 2002) has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for spotlight.africa. He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.

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Rev. Trevor Hudson

Trevor Hudson has been part of the Methodist movement for over 40 years. Serving primarily around Johannesburg, he is deeply committed to the work of spiritual formation within local congregational contexts. A significant part of his weekly work presently consists of the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius and the offering of spiritual direction.Besides his local commitments, Trevor travels widely, preaching, teaching, and lecturing in the areas of spiritual formation, spiritual direction, and pastoral therapy. He lectures at Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, in their Doctor of Ministry (Spiritual Direction) program, and he also works closely with Upper Room Ministries, the Renovaré International Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation, the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation, and the Jesuit Institute in South Africa. He is the author of 17 books including Discovering Your Spiritual Identity (IVP) and Beyond Loneliness (Upper Room). Trevor is married to Debbie, and they are the parents of two adult children, Joni and Mark.

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Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
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