Words of eternal life

John 6:67-68

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6: 67-68

I’ve heard “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “forgive seventy times seven times” and “Peace be with you”—words of eternal life spoken by Jesus.

How can I turn away without betraying my birthright as a child of God made in the image and likeness of God’s love?

 

 

 

God’s gift

eAs I unwrap God’s gift of life today, may I remember to thank the One who gave it to me.

[Jesus said to the crowds:] “I have life because of the Father.” John 6:57b

Taught by God

James Tissot (1836-1902) La multiplicité des pains, between 1886 and 1894 opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper Brooklyn Museum

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La multiplicité des pains, between 1886 and 1894
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Brooklyn Museum

The Word of God teaches me to be bread for those who are hungry for kindness,  encouragement, compassion, and love.

The Word of God teaches me to eat the bread of forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, and nonviolence.

The Word of God teaches me that the Lord is the bread that gives me the nourishment to love my neighbor as myself, welcome strangers, feed the hungry, and visit the sick.

[Jesus said:] “It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God.” John 6:45a

God cares

James Tissot (1836-1902) Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Our need for signs from the Lord speaks of our very human desire to be reassured that God is near and paying attention to us—that God cares. It speaks of our need to be fed with the bread of hope, of compassion, of unconditional love. It speaks of our thirst for conscious contact with the Lord.

Does God care? A wise friend told me: “Of course. That’s why Jesus came here.”

So [the crowd] said to Jesus, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” John 6:30-31

More than enough

Loaves and Fishes mosaic in the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, Tabgha, Israel

Loaves and Fishes Mosaic in the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, Tabgha, Israel

May I remember to thank God for the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the home I have.

May I remember to share what I have with those who are in need.

May I remember that there is always enough—and more than enough—for everyone.

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. John 6:11

Moved by compassion

Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890 Shepherd with a Flock of Sheep Nuenen, September 1884 oil on canvas Mexico City, Museo Soumaya

Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890
Shepherd with a Flock of Sheep
Nuenen, September 1884
oil on canvas
Mexico City, Museo Soumaya

What moves my heart to feel compassion?

The 10,000 people packed in an open boat, refugees from their homes headed who knows where.

The immigrants lined up at the Salvation Army, waiting—patient, stoic—for a box of food.

My friend with cancer who has been given three months to live.

I cannot live their lives for these precious children of God, but I can be a shepherd of  kindness, encouragement, welcoming, respect, comfort, and generosity to help lighten their heavy burdens.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34

 

The simple life

James Tissot, 1836-1902 Il les envoya deux à deux, 1886-1896 Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper Brooklyn Museum

James Tissot, 1836-1902
Il les envoya deux à deux, 1886-1896
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Brooklyn Museum

I don’t need overstocked cupboards, expensive gadgets, a big salary, or an extensive wardrobe to do the work of the Lord. I just need love, compassion, forgiveness, awareness of others and their needs, and a willingness to serve as I am sent.

[Jesus] instructed [the Twelve] to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick— no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. Mark 6:8-9