James Tissot (1836-1902) Le “Pater Noster” opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
In humility, I acknowledge I do not know how to pray. In humility, I ask the Lord to teach me how. In humility, I let the Lord be my teacher — not only in prayer but also in love of my neighbor, my enemy, the poor, the stranger, the homeless, the prisoner.
Lord, give me the courage to be faithful to your teaching.
JESUS MAFA. Martha and Mary, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved July 21, 2019]. Original source.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to [Jesus] and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” Luke 10:40
I often wonder what prevented Martha from asking Mary to help her. Why did Martha speak to her sister through the Lord? Had Martha previously asked Mary for help and Mary had ignored her? What was the relationship between the two sisters?
Today I will examine my relationships and discern where and why I avoid direct communication with others.
The Good Samaritan After William Hogarth (British, London 1697–1764 London) Etching and engraving, February 24, 1772 Metropolitan Museum of Art
[Jesus replied,] “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
[The scholar] answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
It’s a directive from the Lord: Treat my neighbor with mercy. That means extending compassion to someone who is suffering; listening when someone needs to talk; visiting someone who is lonely; feeding someone who is hungry.
It’s about noticing others. It’s about paying attention. It’s about letting go of indifference. It’s about taking care of you and me and all of us — precious members of God’s beloved human family.
The Seventy-two Disciples tempera on parchment Ethiopia, ca.1480-1520 Getty Open Content Program Ms. 105 (2010.17), fol. 9
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers and sisters. Amen. Galatians 6:18
The grace of our Lord touches our hearts and spirits with the desire to do good, forgive wrongs, bring healing to those who are suffering, be peacemakers, let go of blame, and take responsibility for our actions and attitudes.
We are good and trustworthy. That is why the Lord sends us into the world to sow and harvest love, compassion, and nonviolence.
The Blue Marble NASA/Apollo 17 crew; taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans, December 7, 1972
We human persons are so small, frail, weak, and fragile. But filled with God’s Holy Spirit, we have the choice to be spacious in love, unbreakable in generosity, powerful in compassion, and invincible in forgiveness.
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place — What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? Psalm 8:4-5