Jesuit retreat center high on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, MO.  Since 1922, thousands of people from around the world make annual three-day silent, guided retreats here to relax, reconnect with God and strengthen their spirituality.  A true gem in the Midwest!  Call 314-416-6400 or 1-800-643-1003.  Email reservations@whretreat.org  7400 Christopher Rd.  St. Louis, MO 63129

Both men's and women's retreats are offered as well as recovery retreats.

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Weekend Reflections for 4/21/17

Divine Mercy Sunday


Put your hand on your heart. Wait. Feel your heartbeat. Bum bum. Bum bum.

How is your heart? Joyful? Tired? Sad?

Now look at the Lord’s Sacred Heart. See His love poured out. See His Heart beating with love for you right now.

Jesus has a Risen Body now. This is not a past event, but a current event; it is an ongoing event. He Rose on Easter morning 2000 years ago and He IS Risen. He was fully God and fully man; He is fully God and fully man.

St Thomas gets an up close and personal experience of the Risen Jesus in Sunday’s Gospel. “Show me!” He says. Chris appeared to the other apostles, but Thomas was not there. Thomas wants to see for himself-- and not just see, but touch! “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Thomas could be the patron saint of Missouri, the ‘show me state.’ Jesus hears his prayer, and Thomas gets more than he bargained for. Jesus appears again, and invites Thomas, “bring your hand and put it into my side.”

It is as if the Lord is saying to Thomas, ‘Touch My Heart. Don’t just think about Me: come to Me. Feel My love.’

Jesus invites us, too, to encounter His Sacred Heart: "Touch My Heart. Don’t just think about Me: come to Me. Feel My love." If we dare, we might even extend the same invitation to Jesus: “Lord, touch my heart, too.” The Risen Christ passes through a locked door to meet His frightened apostles. He can pass through the locks and barriers that we place on our hearts, too. “Yes, Lord, touch my heart.” This is a bold offer, which can only be made with prayer and great courage. I need to ask the Lord for healing and strength. I must allow Him to touch my heart-- a heart that may be wounded, scabbed, and scarred by old hurts and sorrows.

Jesus knows what it is like to have a wounded heart. His heart, too, is wounded by our sins and and the rejection of the whole human race. His Heart was pierced by a the soldier’s lance as He hung on the cross. He knows what it’s like. But His Heart is not closed in; it is not locked in a tomb where it can never be touched again. His Heart pours out love and mercy, grace and redemption, blood and water-- the very sacraments of the Church.  

Jesus looks at you with knowledge and compassion, and says, “Bring your hand and put it into my side. Touch My Heart. Feel My love for you.”
On this Divine Mercy Sunday, let us dare to offer Him the same bold invitation that He offers to us: “Lord, touch my heart.” Yes, Lord, strengthen our hearts. Heal us and renew us through your Divine Mercy.

Fr Joe Laramie, SJ