The language of love

JESUS MAFA. Pentecost, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 20, 2018]. Original source: Librairie de l’Emmanuel

The language of God’s Holy Spirit is love. Whomever I speak with, wherever they’re from, no matter how different they seem from me: we all understand the spoken and unspoken language of love, compassion, and acceptance.

May the language I choose always express God’s Spirit of love and compassion.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Acts 2:4-6

In Love

God’s love has been planted in my heart. May I take time today to sit with Love in the quiet of my heart space. May I let Love prune and shape my life and will. May my own capacity to love grow, flourish, and bear great fruit.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. 1 John 4:16b

Love one another

When Jesus says to love one another, it’s not a suggestion. It’s a command.

To be a faithful follower of Jesus, I must treat all people with respect, kindness, and compassion. We are kin. You and I and all of the human family are beloved children of God.

May I walk with reverence in the presence of my sisters and brothers. May my words and behaviors prove I am a disciple of the Lord.

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “This I command you: love one another.” John 15:17

Compassion fruit

I have had the experience of trying to join a group, but no one welcomed me because I was new to the area, an unknown, someone who might not be a good fit.

With the Lord to nurture me, compassion is the fruit that grows from times of rejection: compassion for the stranger, the newcomer, the misfit, the one who is different, the one—like me—who is a child of God.

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Acts 9:26

In need

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Landscape with Flock of Sheep
oil on canvas, 1889 and 1902
Norton Simon Museum

Today I am especially in need of the gentle guidance and tender care of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. I am grateful for his kind attention.

May I be gentle, tender, and kind towards others, too, for they may also be in need of compassion.

Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11

Peace in this moment

The two disciples recounted what had  taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:35

Jesus has risen from the dead. He breaks bread and eats a bit of fish to prove he is here with us, a tangible, touchable, living presence.

It is in this present, earth-bound moment that he offers us the gift of peace. Today I will accept this moment of peace… and the next…and the next… until I internalize the gift and am able to offer it to others—to all members of our human family, who live and breathe and ache to be touched with God’s peace and compassion.

[Jesus] stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36

Befriend the wounded

Caravaggio (1571-1610)
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
oil on canvas, from 1601 until 1602
Sanssouci Picture Gallery

I am learning to identify and make friends with my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. Although some are still open, these wounds are proof of my ability to survive, begin the work of healing, and live again. They teach me compassion, too, by opening my eyes and heart to recognize the wounds of others.

Today I pray for the grace to be gentle with wounded humanity. May I be willing to reach out to touch God’s holy Spirit in each of us.

Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” John 20:27