Monthly Archives: March 2016

Hope in the Way

Rembrandt (1606-1669) Christ Resurrected Oil on canvas, 1661 Munich, Alte Pinakothek

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
Christ Resurrected
Oil on canvas, 1661
Munich, Alte Pinakothek

Like Mary, I am going in search of Jesus. The path is sometimes dark with pain and sorrow, uncertainty and discouragement, suffering and anxiety. What I bring with me—hope, love, faith, compassion, kindness, respect, forgiveness, peace—is what I am searching for. I follow the way, even in darkness, to find the Way.

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. John 20:1

 

Emptied

Rembrandt (1606-1669) The Three Crosses drypoint and burin on paper, 1653 Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Three Crosses (third state)
drypoint and burin on paper (III/IV), 1653
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

Today I pray for the grace to be emptied of arrogance, fear, and self-seeking, and to be filled with humility, love, and generosity to those in need.

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself. Phillipians 2:6-7a

Alone with the Lord

James Tissot (1836-1902) La femme adultère seule avec Jésus, opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La femme adultère seule avec Jésus
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

How vulnerable I will feel to stand alone with Jesus and face the truth of how I have hurt and betrayed others.

How amazed I will feel to know he does not condemn me for my wrongdoings. How I hope I will have the courage to accept responsibility for my actions.

How I pray for the humility to ask for God’s grace to change the way I treat my family, friends, colleagues, strangers, the poor, the elderly, the sick, the needy.

How unburdened I will feel to experience the mercy of the Lord. How I trust I will extend that mercy to others.

Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” John  8:11b

 

Today’s choice

Düsseldorf, Germany. Catholic church St. Lambertus, main portal with bronze door created by Ewald Mataré. Detail: Return of the prodigal son. Photo by Beckstet, 2010

Düsseldorf, Germany. Catholic church St. Lambertus, main portal with bronze door created by Ewald Mataré. Detail: Return of the prodigal son.
Photo by Beckstet, 2010

I may identify with either the prodigal son or his resentful older brother, but in this parable Jesus is calling me to be like the compassionate father.

How ready am I to forgive? To let go of resentment? To welcome the lost? To be a peacemaker? To show compassion to those who are poor, ill, or different from me in culture, ways of thinking, acting, being?

Today I will choose compassion over indifference and acceptance over judgment.

While [the younger son] was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. Luke 15:20b