Gerard de Jode (ca.1511-1591) The Parable of the workers in the vineyard, 1585 Royal Library of Belgium
Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
God is as near as my choice to love my neighbor as myself, to treat others with respect, to show compassion to those who are suffering, to forgive those who have hurt me, to be generous to those in need.
Today I will seek the path of love, compassion, and peace. I will call on the Lord to give me the courage and trust to follow this path.
James Tissot (1836-1902) The Calling of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew gouache over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum
Jesus said to his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15
Peter has spent long hours and many months with Jesus. He has come to know the compassion of God manifested in every word and touch of Jesus.
This is the key to the Kingdom of God: knowing God’s love in my heart and letting it overflow to all people with words and actions that reveal kindness, gentleness, respect, encouragement, justice, and healing.
Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib (Egyptian, active ca. 1684) Jesus and the Canaanite Woman Ink and pigments on laid paper The Walters Art Museum
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” Matthew 15:25
The COVID and racism pandemics are feeding a number of demons. As the demons of distress, anxiety, and fear attempt to infiltrate my mind, body, and spirit, I do my best to stay aware of their effect on me and ask the Lord to help me. I trust he hears and answers me.
T’oros Roslin (ca.1210-1270) Jesus Walks on the Sea, 1262
During the fourth watch of the night, [Jesus] came toward [the disciples] walking on the sea. Matthew 14:25
I sense an eagerness in Jesus. I sense that he wants very much to be with his friends and so he takes the quickest way to meet them: by walking on the sea.
How humbling to know the Lord is eager to be with us. How humbling for me to realize how often I am afraid to be in the Lord’s presence, how often I am afraid of the Lord’s powerful and unceasing love for me.
Today I will walk on the sea of love and trust as I consciously seek the presence of God. If I falter, I will ask the Lord to save me from my fear of loving and being loved.
Dilip V Nerlikar The fisherman active in Vengurla, Maharshtra, India, 2017
And Jesus replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” Matthew 13:52
Every day I cast a net of discernment. It captures thought patterns, behaviors, and habits that prevent me from caring for those in need, forgiving those who have hurt me, and treating all people with respect and dignity. I sort through old fears, resentments, and wounds. I ask the Lord to remove all the hindrances to love and to strengthen everything in me that is generous, kind, and compassionate.