Who is my enemy

Daniel Chodowiecki (1726 – 1801) Betende Frau mit Rosenkranz, 1773

Daniel Chodowiecki (1726 – 1801)
Betende Frau mit Rosenkranz, 1773

God has the power to heal the wounds and divisions in my life and in our world. Today I will collaborate with the Lord by praying for those I find difficult to love or respect, and those I fear or resent.

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5: 43-45)

Into the mystery

Sunrise coast La Palma Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be

Sunrise coast La Palma
Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be

The Holy Spirit is our trusted guide as we, with reverence, approach the mystery that surrounds, enfolds, and gives meaning and purpose to the relationship between the natural world, our communities, and all of humankind.

For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10)

Shine on

23717_helping-handsWe are made in the image of God’s love and goodness. When we shine love and goodness into the world, the light of God chases away the darkness.

A kind word. Respectful listening. A visit to someone who is lonely. Gratitude. A smile. Comfort. A peaceful presence.

Every tiny bit of love and goodness we shine brings light and healing to our broken world.

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16

Blessed peace

The Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7 JESUS MAFA. The Sermon on the Mount, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48284 [retrieved January 29, 2017].

JESUS MAFA. The Sermon on the Mount, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved January 29, 2017].

Now is the time to make peace, forgive those who hurt us, love our enemies.

Now is the time to put nonviolence into practice, to trust love is more powerful than aggression, blame, and division.

Now is the time to bring compassion and mercy to all who are broken, and to all that is broken in our world.

[Jesus taught them,] “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:7, 9

 

At once

 St. Peter's Church, Kilmore Quay, County Wexford, Ireland photograph by Andreas F. Borchert

St. Peter’s Church, Kilmore Quay,
County Wexford, Ireland
photograph by Andreas F. Borchert

Every day the Lord says to me, “This is my way: Love your neighbor. Forgive your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Give to the one who asks of you. Feed the hungry. Take care of the poor, homeless, imprisoned, and vulnerable. Let your light shine for all to see. Come after me.”

How quick am I to leave my old habits and attitudes and behaviors to follow him?

[Jesus] said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:19-20

Pointing to love

El Greco (1541-1614) San Juan Bautisto oil on canvas, between ca.1600 and ca1605 Museu de Belles Arts de València

El Greco (1541-1614)
San Juan Bautisto
oil on canvas, between ca.1600 and ca.1605
Museu de Belles Arts de València

Today I will join John the Baptist in announcing the presence of Jesus by letting love illuminate and transform my words, thoughts, and actions.

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

The best gift

JESUS MAFA. <a href=

JESUS MAFA. Visit of the Three Wise Men, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved January 8, 2017]

Pay attention. Listen deeply. Encourage often. Stay in touch. Walk with reverence in all circumstances. Practice warm, welcoming silence.

Go gently, intentionally in the presence of God.

On entering the house [the magi] saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Matthew 2:11