Monthly Archives: September 2017

Worthy

Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
11th c.
Byzantine gospel. Paris, National Library

God surrounds, fills, and blesses each human person with the same abundant love, compassion, and comfort. We don’t have to prove our worth to God. Whenever we show up for God, God is already there with a warm welcome.

Today I will make God’s boundless, unbiased love apparent by treating everyone I encounter with respect and kindness.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

 

As often as infinity

Josefina de Vasconcellos (1904-2005)
Reconciliation

If I want to follow Jesus, then I must be compassion. I must be forgiveness. I must be love.

And when I fail, I must find the heart and discipline to start again. It’s not a competition. There is no endpoint. It is the Way.

Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord? Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself, can he seek pardon for his own sins? Sirach 28:2-4

 

Two of us

Two People Praying
Japanese, 19th c.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Here we are, you and I, gathered together in the name of Jesus. Can we agree on what to pray for?

I’d like to pray for an understanding heart. Choosing love first. Forgiving more quickly. Transforming the energy of fear and anger into a force for compassion and reconciliation. Being more generous to those in need. Finding a way to use my gifts and talents to help out in the world. Seeking God’s will in all that I do.

How about you?

[Jesus said to his disciples,] ” Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20

Today’s cross

JESUS MAFA. The Crucifixion; Jesus dies on the cross, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved September 3, 2017].

Some days, the cross is light and easy to carry. No matter what’s going on with me, I am able help others. I don’t take offense at others’ thoughtlessness. I remember to put God in the center of my life.

Other days, the cross is heavy and cumbersome. I may be in pain, out of sorts, sad, exhausted, worried. I feel alone with my burdens. I have to work very hard to believe I am in the presence of God.

Most days, the cross changes its weight from light to heavy and back again. It gets lighter when I remember to ask God for help. It gets heavier when I feel victimized by its pressure. It gets lighter when I take an interest in others. It gets heavier when I am self-engrossed.

As I maneuver with my cross each day, I hope to die to myself a little more. I hope to follow the way of Love and Compassion with firmer footsteps. I hope one day to be raised to new life in the Lord.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24