Monthly Archives: October 2017

Love thy neighbor

When I love my neighbor as myself, I love the Lord, my God, with my whole heart, soul, and mind.

When I forget to treat myself and others with reverence, I have forgotten the reverence due to God.

Thus says the LORD: “You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.” Exodus 22:21-22

Pay it forward

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Le denier de César
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Love. Compassion. Kindness. Mercy. Forgiveness. Welcome. Comfort. Peace.

These belong to God. May I repay them to God by extending them to everyone I encounter.

[Jesus said to them,] “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” Matthew 22: 21

Dressed up

ESUS MAFA. The poor invited to the feast, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved October 15, 2017].

Here I am at the celebration of God’s kingdom among us. Love has triumphed over death. God’s Word leads us on the way to everlasting  life.

Today I will ask God’s Holy Spirit to help me find the right garment for this celebration. Kindness. Compassion. Mercy. Generosity. Peace. Nonviolence. Welcome. Joy.

[Jesus said,] “The king said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?'”  Matthew 22:12a

Nonviolence

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Le fils de la vigne
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Negativity. Pessimism. Put-downs. Sarcasm. Hostility. These are forms of violence that tackle me daily in the news, on the Internet, at the workplace, and sometimes from my own attitudes and behaviors.

My defense against the darkness of violence is to put my thoughts on God’s boundless love and wisdom, and to practice bringing the light of gratitude, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion to every circumstance in which I find myself.

Thank you, Lord, for being with me right now, in this moment. Help me to walk in the light of your love. Show me how to be a nonviolent presence in our troubled world.

Finally, sisters and brothers,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things. Phillipians 4:8

Never too late to change

My first response is not always generosity to the poor. It is not always welcome to  someone I don’t know. Or forgiveness to someone who has hurt me. Or respect to someone who treats me with disdain.

But I always have the option to change my attitude and behavior. I can choose the way of love and kindness instead of the way of self-centeredness and resentment.

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘ but afterwards changed his mind and went. Matthew 21:28-29