With open eyes

A.N. Mironov (b.1975)
Christ and the pauper. Healing of the blind man.
Oil on canvas, 2009.

I know I am blind to many of my faults and weaknesses—and sometimes to my gifts and talents, too.

Today I will trust the man called Jesus and ask him to anoint the eyes of my heart so that I may see myself in the light of God’s love and acceptance. I will trust the man called Jesus to heal all that prevents me from being a true servant of God’s love and goodness in the world.

[The man born blind] replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” John 9:11

The right approach

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La Samaritaine à la fontaine
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

The disciples of Jesus left him behind in their search for food, while the woman of Samaria approached him in her search for water. She was blessed by awakening to the presence of the Christ, while the disciples ended up distracted by annoyance and negative judgment at Jesus’ lack of propriety.

Today I will approach the Lord in times of loneliness, fear, sadness, and emptiness instead of being distracted by the things of the world.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. (John 4:7-8)

Listen

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858)
Преображение, 1824

When I listen to the Word of God, what do I hear?
  Peace.
  Do not be afraid.
  Love God and your neighbor and yourself.
  Welcome strangers.
  Feed the hungry.
  Shelter the homeless.
  Do not worry about tomorrow.
  Forgive your enemies.

Today I will listen to the Lord and be transfigured into a brighter image of God’s love and goodness, kindness and compassion.

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matthew 17:5

Tempted

Augustin Hirschvogel (1503-1553) Temptation of Christ

Augustin Hirschvogel (1503-1553)
Temptation of Christ

When I am hungry, angry, tired, lonely, afraid, or in pain, I tend to be short on patience, compassion, and forbearance. I am tempted to snap at others, wallow in discouragement, and forget my call to treat all of God’s people with respect.

Jesus shows me how to turn temptation into contemplation of God’s Word, and to let God’s vision of love triumph over a moment’s satisfaction.

[Jesus] fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” Matthew 4:2-3

Sufficient for today

View of Wildflowers, Fields, and Lake Kinnaret (Sea of Galilee) By Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

View of Wildflowers, Fields, and Lake Kinnaret (Sea of Galilee)
By Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Let me put my attention and energy on the things that help bring peace and harmony to our fractured world: enjoying friends and family, listening to someone who needs to talk, encouraging someone who is lonely or depressed or afraid, speaking kindly to a stranger, spending time alone in prayer and meditation to be filled again with the love and patience of God.

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” Matthew 6:27

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)