Back in Medjugorje, Jane is at the end of her trip and wants to climb Mt. Krizevac to pray the stations of the cross one last time. She is determined to do so on her own, but meets crowds of people as she goes up the mountain. A terrible headache makes it a painful experience. When she gets to the 13th station where Jesus is taken down from the cross, her pounding headache suddenly vanishes. The plaque representing the station reads “The pain is gone.” She realizes her own pain has been mimicking the timing of Christ’s pain and begins to jump for joy, surprising the crowds with her exuberance. On the trip back to the states, Jane’s joy continues despite lost luggage and cancelled connecting flights.
Jane’s joy is obviously a gift from Christ. As I think about the last time I experienced anything remotely similar, I am reminded of the first multi-day retreat that I went on in 2001. Kairos is a retreat for juniors at Dowling Catholic High School and lasts for 4 days. My retreat weekend was a pivotal point in my faith journey and I remember returning home feeling light as a feather, like nothing could disturb my peace. I had encountered Christ in a personal way that weekend for the first time. The retreat continues to be offered multiple times each year to this day.
- Can you recall a time when you’ve experienced the joy and peace of Christ like Jane did?
- What types of experiences might foster such a joy in your heart?