Always welcome

 JESUS MAFA. The Late-arriving Workers, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48296 [retrieved September 21, 2014].

JESUS MAFA. The Late-arriving Workers, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48296 [retrieved September 21, 2014].

[Jesus told his disciples this parable:] “So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.” Matthew 20:10

This is the only expectation that won’t disappoint me:
God will love and welcome me whenever I show up—early or late.

 

God so loves our world

Diego Velazquez, 1599-1660 Cristo crucifado oil on canvas El Prado, Madrid

Diego Velázquez, 1599-1660
Cristo crucifado
oil on canvas
El Prado, Madrid

[Jesus answered Nicodemus,] “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

There is so much to love in our world. There are so many people to love in our world. Just for today, I will make a commitment to love myself and one other person.

In the presence of Love

 Rembrandt (1606-1669) Christ and Nicodemus pen and wash, between 1621 and 1669 via Wikimedia Commons

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
Christ and Nicodemus
pen and wash, between 1621 and 1669
via Wikimedia Commons

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

I owe you nothing except to extend to you the love of Jesus—the compassion, forgiveness, and comfort of God. I owe you nothing except to respect you and treat you the way I would like to be treated. I owe you nothing except to accept you just as you are in this moment and show you kindness and courtesy.

If I bring Jesus with me wherever I go, I am with you in Love and we are in the presence of Love.

God Thoughts

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Matthew 16:21-27
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

[Jesus] turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Matthew 16:23

When my thoughts flurry and squall, I hope God thinks calmly, without hurry, in an orderly and harmonious fashion.

When my thoughts descend into despair about the heartaches and violence in our world, I hope God thinks healing into the grief and peace into the unrest.

When my thoughts dwell on what’s wrong with me, I hope God thinks I’m loveable and precious and right where I’m supposed to be.

 

Proclaiming the Christ

The Good Shepherd

JESUS MAFA. The good shepherd, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48288 [retrieved August 24, 2014].

[Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16

My words, attitudes, behaviors, and actions are all that I have to proclaim Jesus as the Christ.

Does my way of being in the world proclaim  compassion? forgiveness? nonviolence? humility? healing? community?

To those I know and those I don’t know, am I a loving presence ? respectful? courteous? generous?

Do I speak words that encourage? lift up? give hope? inspire?

How will I proclaim Jesus the Christ today?

 

Compelled by faith

Br. Martin Erspamer, OSB Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

Br. Martin Erspamer, OSB
Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour. Matthew 15:28

Faith is certainty in the goodness of God, in the truth of God’s vision of love, compassion, and healing, and in our position as beloved, precious children of God.

The persistent, unshakeable faith of the Canaanite woman is unanswerable except by Jesus being God, showing God, acting as God in that moment to heal her beloved, precious daughter in love and compassion.

 

 

 

A little faith

Waldemar Flaig,  Jesus mit den Jüngern im Sturm

Waldemar Flaig, 1892-1932
Jesus mit den Jüngern im Sturm
oil, by 1932
via Wikimedia Commons

But when [Peter] saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:30-31

Faith to walk on water. Faith to face the storm. Faith to battle the wind. Faith to walk toward God.

And when we begin to sink from fear, fatigue, stress, and anxiety, a little faith to cry out to Jesus to save us.