Category Archives: John

Peace

Franciszek Smuglewicz (1745 – 1807)
Doubting Thomas
oil on canvas, ca.1800
Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:21a

Jesus repeats it to be sure we get the message: “Peace be with you.”

This is the Lord of peace and reconciliation, the Lord of forgiveness and compassion, the Lord of comfort and mercy.

Lord, fill me with your peace and compassion today.

Hope

Caravaggio
Mary Magdalene Grieving
oil on canvas, between 1605 and1606

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

She probably couldn’t sleep from grief. She got up at the first possible moment and went to care for the body of Jesus. And he was gone.

When did she let go of the fear that someone had snatched his body and begin to hope he had risen from the dead?

Lord, help me to choose hope over fear. Let me rejoice in the gifts of today.

Dying to live

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Field of Wheat with Cypresses
oil on canvas, 1889
Metropolitan Museum of Art

[Jesus answered them,] “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

God has planted the seed of unconditional love in my heart.

May I let the hard shell of resentment, indifference, selfishness, and prejudice that surrounds this precious seed of love die.

I want to do God’s will and produce the living fruit of God’s love in our fragile world.

God so loves us

 

For God so loved the world… John 3:16a

God reveals himself in the person of Jesus from whom we learn God is compassion, healing, forgiveness, service to the poor and vulnerable, the shunned and abandoned.

May I also be a revelation of God’s love in the world.

The wisdom to trust

Benvenuto Tisi (1481-1559)
Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple
between circa 1540 and circa 1550
National Galleries of Scotland

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25

Today I am feeling small and fragile. I will ask God for the wisdom to lean on the Lord’s gentle strength and trust that everything I need today will be provided.

Hear me, O Lord

Philip Galle (1537-1612) after Jan van der Straet
The Meeting of the Apostles and the Women
in the Upper Room
engraving
National Gallery of Art

Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks. Psalm 27:7-8

There are so many people to pray for, so many people who are ill, suffering, lonely, afraid, or abused. People who are locked down in nursing homes because of the COVID-19 virus. People who have lost their homes and have become refugees. People who are fleeing unjust and unsafe regimes and are seeking asylum in new countries. People who are being trafficked and sold into slavery. People who have no one to pray for them.

Today I will remember to pray. I will ask the Lord to hear me as I pray for those in need in our fragile, troubled world.

Entwined

A street of Pillars at the ruins of the city Samaria
PALÄSTINA und das OSTOJORDANLAND (Julius Hoffmann, Stuttgart, 1925)

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.” John 14:20

Time passes, life events impact us, we adapt, grow, develop, move on.

But our union with God never changes. We are forever entwined with God, eternally in harmony with kindness, compassion, reverence, joy, and love.

The Word is love

Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. Psalm 33:22

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
John 14:6a

The way is love.

Love is the truth we serve.

Love is how we make our lives reflect the image of the One who loved us first.

Peace be with you

Caravaggio (1571-1610)
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
oil on canvas, from 1601 until 1602
Sanssouci Picture Gallery

Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Peace in this time of uncertainty. Peace in our hearts. Peace in our words. Peace in our actions.

Breathe peace.