Alone with Jesus

By Br. Anthony Kote-Witah, OFM Cap

Philip found Nathanael and told him, we have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth. But Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come from Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see. (Jn 2:45-56).

Alone with Jesus and self is the embrace of Christ’s intimate relationship on our Journey of Hope. This embrace of Christ gives us power. You may wonder and ponder what does this truly mean? Why are we here, and who is Jesus to you and me? These are fundamental questions for Christians, especially those who wants to encounter Jesus’ loving affection. Thomas Rausch, a theologian, discloses that the first Christian community answered who Jesus is by creating titles for him. They expressed their faith within the context of the Old and New Testaments, and they experienced their relationship with Jesus as “prophet, teacher, Messiah, Son of David, Son of Man. LORD, Son of God, WORD of God” (Rausch 1). Historically, the earliest image of Jesus by most Christian is found in the art of the catacombs in Rome. It portrayed Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The Church Fathers used the icon of the pierced side of Christ as the birthplace of the Church’s sacraments.

Who is Jesus? Come and see! Further down, I invite you deeply into this intimate relationship with Jesus, to be alone with him. I want you to relate one good image how Jesus has used you bless someone or has used someone to bless you. I want you to express how this /these encountered have drawn you close to Jesus. It is important to comprehend that Jesus is a friend seeking union with you. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The invitation of Jesus two thousand years ago remains unchanged. Today Christ continues to invite you and me to the heavenly blessing, which means to be alone with Him. When the two disciples of John the Baptist left him and followed Jesus, “Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day (Jn 1:37-39). The disciples devoted their time contemplatively with Jesus and he taught them the Lord’s Prayer.

At the confirmation class here at St. Ambrose Parish, I was asked to share on the topic: “Who is Jesus?”  Then I asked the instructor to print the pictures of several of images of Jesus to the class.  I asked the catechumens to go and pick their choice, and quietly gaze and reflect on the pictures for a few minutes. Later I invited them to share their experience. Many raised their hands and powerfully shared who Jesus is to them, individually. It was awesome! One among the students said, “This will be my morning reflection everyday; this is how I will continue to appreciate who Jesus is to me daily.” That is a distinctive answer and invitation right there! To be alone with Jesus is to find a silent place to rest: places like retreats, like Adoration before the Eucharist, or meditating through the Stations of the Cross, as well mental meditation and contemplative journaling. It is essential to balance our active lives as well as our time to pray and be alone with Jesus on our Journey of Hope.