Draw near

Diego Velázquez (1599-1660)
Kitchen Scene with the Supper in Emmaus
oil on canvas, ca.1618
National Gallery of Ireland

Fatigue. Fear. Self-absorption. Indifference. These are conditions that prevent me from recognizing the Lord in the people I meet.

Today I will put my attention on the Lord and ask for the grace to recognize the Lord in every member of God’s human family.

And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. Luke 24:15-16

Peace be with you

Guercino, 1591-1666
Doubting Thomas
oil on canvas, 1st half 17th c.
Salzburg, Residenzgalerie

May I have the faith to unlock my heart to receive the gift of the Lord’s peace.

And may I carry the message of the Lord’s peace wherever I go today.

Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” John 19:26b

Who’s in charge

JESUS MAFA. Empty Tomb, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 16, 2017]

God triumphs over death, proving once and for all who is in charge of life and all that lives.

May I put my trust in the Lord, even when it seems like world events are out of control.

[The angel said to the women,] “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.” Matthew 28:5-6a

Holy Week Hush

Margret Hofheinz-Döring, 1910-1994
Fußwaschung
Linolschnitt – Handabzug, 1932

Let me listen to God’s silence during this Holy Week.

Let me empty myself of worry, negativity, resentment, indifference, fear, and self-seeking.

Let me be filled with God’s love, peace, and compassion.

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself. Philippians 2:6-7a

Come out

Today I ask the Lord to open the tomb of my heart and help me untie and let go of all that keeps me dead to my sisters and brothers in our human family: self-centeredness, resentment, blame, negative judgment, prejudice, indifference, scorn, comparisons, greed, fear.

I ask the Lord to grace me with a new life based in the freedom of love, peace, compassion, generosity, and forgiveness.

So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” John 11:44b

With open eyes

A.N. Mironov (b.1975)
Christ and the pauper. Healing of the blind man.
Oil on canvas, 2009.

I know I am blind to many of my faults and weaknesses—and sometimes to my gifts and talents, too.

Today I will trust the man called Jesus and ask him to anoint the eyes of my heart so that I may see myself in the light of God’s love and acceptance. I will trust the man called Jesus to heal all that prevents me from being a true servant of God’s love and goodness in the world.

[The man born blind] replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” John 9:11

The right approach

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La Samaritaine à la fontaine
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

The disciples of Jesus left him behind in their search for food, while the woman of Samaria approached him in her search for water. She was blessed by awakening to the presence of the Christ, while the disciples ended up distracted by annoyance and negative judgment at Jesus’ lack of propriety.

Today I will approach the Lord in times of loneliness, fear, sadness, and emptiness instead of being distracted by the things of the world.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. (John 4:7-8)