I could say that my retreat was a sort of spiritual feast, and there was way too much to digest. Let alone sort through for what was great, good, meh, or something else–at least right now.
Something that popped up very early–not sure from where–was the notion of conducting oneself in ministry. There was a lot of other rich stuff, and I’ll concede I didn’t dwell too much on my role in ecclesial ministry. But John the Baptist was really onto something, wasn’t he?
You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, “I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.”
He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:28-30, NRSV)
Pope, bishop, pastor, staff person, liturgical minister, floor sweeper, feeder of the poor. They can all potentially say (and sometimes they do), “Look at me!” But the attitude I look for as I train students for ministry is something of the friend of the bridegroom, “Look beyond me.”
Naturally, we all fall for that other quote from time to time. Picking it up like a cross and making it our own. “Look beyond me” are words and an attitude for which to strive. I know I’ll be returning to it often as MR3 comes ’round the corner.
More news and insights from the retreat as the days pass, but I thought I’d offer a little teaser and a note to let you know I’m back in the neighborhood. Peace to all, and blessings.