[Jesus said,] “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'” Mark 13:37
What am I watching for?
For an opportunity to be kind.
For an opportunity to help someone.
For an opportunity to encourage someone.
For an opportunity to feed the hungry.
For an opportunity to choose peace.
For an opportunity to speak out against violence.
For an opportunity to let go of arrogance.
For an opportunity to show respect to others.
For an opportunity to rejoice in another’s success.
For an opportunity to welcome a stranger.
For an opportunity share my gifts and talents.
For an opportunity to love my neighbor as myself.
Jan Luyken (1649-1712) Welcome the Stranger Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England By Phillip Mehurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons
[Jesus said,] “‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'”
It’s not always convenient to be mindful of others, especially those who need my attention, help, energy, money, talents.
Convenience is not the calling of a follower of Jesus. Love is.
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) Jesús expulsa a los fariseos del Templo, 1521
[Jesus] made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area. John 2:15
I am a little temple that houses God’s Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, I have the power to drive out anything from my temple that obstructs and interferes with my ability to love God, myself, and my neighbor.
What shall I drive out today? Fear? Greed? Self-pity? Arrogance? Indifference? Prejudice?
What shall I invite in? Gratitude? Gentleness? Acceptance? Encouragement? Hospitality? Compassion?
Joža Uprka, 1860-1941 All Souls’ Day oil on canvas, 1897 Prague, National Gallery via Wikimedia Commons
Jesus said to the crowds: “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me.” John 6:37
I have been on the giving and receiving end of rejection. Either side is a lonely place, a place of woundedness and deep grief.
Jesus, the Compassion of God, heals all wounds through the grace of his unconditional love for all of God’s human family. By his example I am learning it is the better part to accept than reject. I am learning it is the better part to forgive than resent. I am learning it is the better part to keep my eyes on the Lord than my nose in others’ business. I am learning to find my way home.