Via Vitae (« Chemin de Vie »), chef d’œuvre de l’orfèvre et joailler parisien Joseph Chaumet (1852-1928) représentant les principales scènes de la vie de Jésus, musée eucharistique du Hiéron, Paray-le-Monial, Saône-et-Loire, France Détail : Le Sermon sur la montagne By Croquant (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
[Jesus said,] “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16
God’s Spirit shines through my brokenness to shed the light of compassion and comfort on others who grieve, who suffer, who feel lonely, lost, under-appreciated, and abandoned.
We are in this life together. May I follow your light to learn kindness, trust, and companionship. May my light show you a pathway of forgiveness, reconciliation, and love.
All 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.
“…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.
God loves me. God made me in love for love. God made me in God’s own image of love and goodness.
And so I dare to approach God in prayer, trusting God will have compassion on me despite my weaknesses and failings, trusting God will teach me a new and better way to be, trusting God’s mercy has the power to transform me in every moment so that I become ever more like God in love and goodness.
And one of [the lepers], realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Luke 17: 15-16
When I express gratitude, I deepen my awareness of others – their gifts, talents, kindness, and humanity. My “thank you” acknowledges our interconnectedness, our interdependence, and our common heritage as precious children of God.
My “thank you” to God is an awareness of God’s love, compassion, and generosity. My “thank you” to God helps me remember to put God in the center of my life.
Thank you, God, for the many kind people you have put in my path, and thank you for your gentle guidance and all the many gifts you shower on me.
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669 The Return of the Prodigal Son (1642) drawing with pen and brush (19 × 23 cm) — ca. 1642 Teylers Museum, Haarlem via Wikimedia Commons
He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’” Luke 15:31-32
This week I have felt lost in a maze of stuff. Medical stuff, workplace stuff, family stuff. Obligations, responsibilities, personalities. World strife, political mayhem, power struggles.
God is looking for me and looking out for me as I stumble through the maze of life. When I remember God, remember to call out to God, remember to place my life and will into God’s gentle care, I am not lost but found and that is cause for rejoicing.