I have had the experience of trying to join a group, but no one welcomed me because I was new to the area, an unknown, someone who might not be a good fit.
With the Lord to nurture me, compassion is the fruit that grows from times of rejection: compassion for the stranger, the newcomer, the misfit, the one who is different, the one—like me—who is a child of God.
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Acts 9:26
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:35
Jesus has risen from the dead. He breaks bread and eats a bit of fish to prove he is here with us, a tangible, touchable, living presence.
It is in this present, earth-bound moment that he offers us the gift of peace. Today I will accept this moment of peace… and the next…and the next… until I internalize the gift and am able to offer it to others—to all members of our human family, who live and breathe and ache to be touched with God’s peace and compassion.
[Jesus] stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36
I am learning to identify and make friends with my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. Although some are still open, these wounds are proof of my ability to survive, begin the work of healing, and live again. They teach me compassion, too, by opening my eyes and heart to recognize the wounds of others.
Today I pray for the grace to be gentle with wounded humanity. May I be willing to reach out to touch God’s holy Spirit in each of us.
Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” John 20:27
They anointed and wrapped his dead body, and placed it with sorrow and reverence in an empty tomb.
And in a spectacular display of God’s power and love, Jesus played the greatest April Fool prank of all: He rose from the dead.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.