By Fr. Ron Will, CPPS
Welcome to this fifth episode in a series entitled “Encounters of the Fourth Kind.”
Just to refresh your memory: An encounter of the first kind is a sighting of a disk-like object in the distance. An encounter of the second kind is similar but much closer than the first kind. An encounter of the third kind is the sighting of non-human beings. An encounter of the fourth kind is the actual encounter of human beings and non-human beings.
This series invites you to go deeper into your relationship with God, to plunge into that deeper relationship. It is an invitation to enter the divine embrace.
In today’s episode, we will join Jesus as we sit in our chapel in front of the tabernacle. But first, listen to me as I read from Luke 24:28-35.
I invite you to close your eyes and get comfortable. Relax your entire body.
Breathe in deeply through your mouth … hold it … breathe out through your nose slowly and completely. Breathe in deeply again … hold it … breathe out slowly and completely.
Again, breathe in deeply … hold it … breathe out slowly and completely.
Let all the tension drain from your shoulders … relax your neck … your facial muscles, … and even your eyelids. … Just relax. … Breathe in deeply … hold it … breathe out slowly and completely.
Now see yourself in your mind’s eye sitting in our chapel.
As we sit here in front of the tabernacle, you suddenly notice the door of the tabernacle slowly opening. There’s no one opening it from the outside; it’s being pushed open from the inside.
Gradually, amazingly, you see Jesus crawl out and stand there in front of the tabernacle stand.
As you sit there, how do you feel? What are you thinking?
You ask Jesus, “How did you do that?” He smiles, and replies “All things are possible with God.” You chuckle yourself.
Jesus starts walking toward you. How are you feeling now?
Jesus sits down beside you and says “Thanks for coming today to be here with me. What’s on your heart today? What are the issues on your heart?”
Take a minute in silence now and tell him.
Jesus puts his hand on your shoulder. It feels very comforting, very re-assuring, because you have just shared with him some heavy issue that you are dealing with.
But having Jesus touch you seems to relax your whole body.
Jesus stands up and walks in front of the open tabernacle and his body suddenly goes into some kind of blurry image. It’s something like what we used to watch on Star Trek when Captain Kirk said, “Beam me up, Scotty.”
And Jesus just disappears.
You continue to sit here and reflect on your experience. How do you feel now? How do you feel about Jesus? How do you feel about meeting him here again?
You have just had an encounter of the fourth kind.
Continue to sit in silence for a couple minutes and continue to experience that encounter. Savor it.
Then join me again next month, for another Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind.
May God bless you.
All of the videos in this series can be found here: Encounters of the Fourth Kind.
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[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]
“Breaking Bread” from the Christa Prema Sava Ashram in Pune, India. Source: Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tennessee.
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