Category Archives: love

The untying

The Raising of Lazarus

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Raising of Lazarus, circa 1630-1632
oil on oak panel
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

[Jesus] cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” John 11:43-44

Sometimes I feel emotionally and spiritually dead, but Jesus calls me to come out of the tomb of depression and sends people to untie the bands of sadness, self-hatred, and self-preoccupation so that I may again relish the gifts of life, love, and companionship.

Making God visible

ciego_01

Jesus heals the man blind from birth

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” John 9:1-3

The works of God are love, healing, compassion, forgiveness, non-judgment, acceptance, peace, non-violence, faith, hope, comfort…

How are the works of God made visible through me and my words, actions, behaviors, and attitudes?

 

Have Faith in Goodness

Striped_daylilies

Hemerocallis ‘Frans Hals’
By Anne Norman (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:28b-30

Have faith in God’s care and comfort. Have faith in God’s tender compassion. Have faith in God’s unchanging, unconditional love. Have faith in our own reflection of God’s love and goodness.

The Law of Love

512px-Rembrandt_The_Hundred_Guilder_Print

Christ Preaching (The Hundred Guilder Print)
circa 1646-1650
etching, drypoint and burin on eastern paper
Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17

The law is love.

Love of God.
Love of neighbor.
Love of self.

We are called to partner with Jesus to fulfill the law of love in the world. We are called to give birth to and embody love for all to see, hear, and touch.

May I present…

presentacion03Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord… Luke 2:22

Every day is an opportunity to present myself to the Lord. “Here I am, Lord. What would you like me to do for you and with you today?”

There’s only ever one answer: Love. Love God with all my heart and mind and soul. Love my neighbor as myself. Forgive those who hurt me. Treat others as I wish to be treated.

Answering the call

Matthew4[Jesus] called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:21-22

What will it take for me to leave everything and follow Jesus into a life of nonviolence, love, forgiveness, and healing?

Can I take a step today into an intentional practice of compassion, kindness, encouragement, and awareness of the needs of others?

Pointing to Jesus

Giovanni_di_Paolo_-_Ecce_Agnus_Dei

Ecce Agnus Dei, 1455/60
Giovanni di Paolo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
John 1:29

John points to Jesus as the one who will be sacrificed to save us. Yet I like to meditate on Jesus as the one who came to be with us because of God’s great love for us; who suffered pain and understands our suffering when we are in pain; who struggled with human emotions such as sorrow and anger and understands our struggles to move through grief and let go of resentment; who patiently teaches us, prays with us, and eats with us; who died and rose from the dead to give us the hope of eternal life in perfect love and union with God.

God is with us

4_candlesAll this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

Whether I’m having an easy day or a hard day, God is with me. Whether I’m feeling peaceful or angry, God is with me. Whether I believe or don’t believe, God is with me.

Dead or alive

hl“…he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Luke 20:38

Death feels like separation, but if I can put my trust in Jesus’ words, then I know God holds us all, the dead and the living. With God there is no separation, only unity: the undivided, unconditional love of the One who has created every human person in love and for love yesterday, today, and forever.