Monthly Archives: December 2015

Astounded by the Word

Vasily Polenov (1844-1927) Christ Among Teachers, 1896 Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery

Vasily Polenov (1844-1927)
Christ Among Teachers, 1896
Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery

Listen to the Word. Sit with holy Scripture. You will be astounded to find the understanding you crave, the answers you seek.

After three days they found [Jesus] in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. Luke 2:46-47

Moments of grace

visitacion3 A nanosecond of silence. The compassion of strangers. The comfort of family and friends. The difficulty of pain, illness, or stress.

In unexpected moments of grace, we are made aware of the presence of the Lord and our hearts leap with joy.

[Elizabeth said,] “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Luke 1:43

Give it away

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) The Sermon of St John the Baptist oil on oak, 1566 Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
The Sermon of St John the Baptist
oil on oak, 1566
Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts

How many coats do I have? Jackets? Sweaters? What if I were to give one away to someone who has none.

How many cans, bottles, boxes, packages of food are in my cupboards? What if I were to give some away to the hungry.

God’s prophets point us to the Way of generous awareness of the needs of others.

[John the Baptist said to them,] “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none.  And whoever has food should do likewise.” Luke 3:11

At any moment

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858) Head of St. John the Baptist oil on paper mounted on canvas, 1837-1857 Tretyakov Gallery

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858)
Head of St. John the Baptist
oil on paper mounted on canvas, 1837-1857
Tretyakov Gallery

At any point in our temporal history, the Word of God may come to us and lead us to become prophetic witnesses to the presence of God in our midst.

The Word of God may call us to speak out against prejudice, greed, and violence, and point the way to acceptance, generosity, and peace.

The Word of God may show us how to let go of resentment, self-centeredness, and arrogance, and teach us the way of forgiveness, service to those in need, and humble awareness of our dependence on God.

The Word of God may clarify our purpose in life: to love God, ourselves, and our neighbors, to bring comfort to the afflicted, to use our gifts and talents in the service of God’s whole human family.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar… during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. Luke 3:1, 2