Monthly Archives: July 2016

Let go of greed

Teachings_of_Jesus_26_of_40._parable_of_the_rich_man._Jan_Luyken_etching._Bowyer_BibleI struggle with my obsession to have on hand an over-abundance of cat food to tempt finicky feline appetites, extra rolls of paper towels and unopened boxes of tissues, and a stash of chocolate in case my cookie supply runs out.

Holding on to material goods is a form of greed. It reflects a deeper issue: a lack of faith that my needs—physical and spiritual—are in God’s capable charge.

Today I will remember to turn to the Source of Life when I worry about not having enough. And I will open my hands and heart to find someone with whom I can share my plenty.

Then [Jesus] told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’” Luke 12:16-17

The door to holiness

17Ask to know God’s will. Seek to imitate Jesus. Be insistent on embodying compassion, forgiveness, generosity, reconciliation, nonviolence, and love.

You will receive God’s guidance. You will find the path to freedom. The door to holiness will be opened to you.

[Jesus said to them,] “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9

A serving of attention

Johannes Vermeer, 1632-1675 Christ in the House of Martha and Mary oil on canvas, between ca.1654 and ca.1656 Scottish National Gallery

Johannes Vermeer, 1632-1675
Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
oil on canvas, between ca.1654 and ca.1656
Scottish National Gallery

Today I will welcome the Lord. I will offer him the hospitality of my heart and sit at his feet to listen to and learn from him. I will serve him with my attention.

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Luke 10:38-39

Focus on Compassion

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890_ Der barmherzige Samariter (nach Delacroix) Saint-Rémy, May 1890 oil on canvas Kröller-Müller Museum

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Der barmherzige Samariter (nach Delacroix)
Saint-Rémy, May 1890
oil on canvas
Kröller-Müller Museum

The focus of the parable of the Good Samaritan is not on the robbers who beat the traveler and left him half-dead. It is not on the indifferent, fearful priest and Levite.

Jesus puts our attention on the Samaritan who, out of compassion for the injured traveler, stopped and helped, and went out of his way to do what he could to aid the recovery of the wounded person.

Today I will put my attention and energy on showing compassion to those in need. I will keep my focus on  manifesting the mercy of God with my thoughts, words, and actions. I will not make idols of the violence, indifference, and fear that plague our world.

[Jesus replied,] “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” [The scholar of the law] answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Luke 10:36-37

 

Empowered to love

Gustave Doré (1832-1883) The Fall of Satan Illustration for John Milton’s “Paradise Lost“ engraving, 1866

Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
The Fall of Satan
Illustration for John Milton’s “Paradise Lost“
engraving, 1866

God’s Spirit of love gives me the power to practice patience with those who aggravate me, visit someone who is lonely or ill, give food and clothing to those in need.

God’s Spirit of love gives me the power to say no to injustice, speak out against racism and prejudice,  practice simple living in a society where money and possessions have become more important than integrity, humility, and kindness.

God’s Spirit of love gives me the power to be a willing servant  of God’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness as I go about my daily responsibilities.

Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.  Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:18-20