Persian Jesus (Isa) miniature of Sermon on the Mount
If you choose you can keep the commandments,
they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Today I will choose the qualities of God: patience, kindness, civility, respect, compassion, delight, and love.
I will choose self-responsibility and forgiveness.
The Flight into Egypt Attributed to Rembrandt, via Wikimedia Commons
Take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you. Sirach 3:12-14
He is so fragile, my father, and every day getting physically smaller as his Spirit outgrows his frail body.
He doesn’t know us any more, but his smile is as sweet as ever and lights up his eyes. “I love you,” he says over and over. He hasn’t lost the inner wisdom that still knows how to “put on love, the bond of perfection.”