Tag Archives: art

Looking for Jesus

James Tissot (1836-1902)
The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law (La guérison de la belle-mère de Pierre)
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, 1886-1894
Brooklyn Museum

Simon and those who were with him pursued [Jesus] and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Mark 1:36-37

Let me look for Jesus in the eyes and hearts of those I encounter, in the pain I’m suffering, in the suffering of others, in distant or close companionship, in the quiet of prayer, in the holy scriptures.

Lord, let me trust I will find you.

In the name of Jesus

Poussin
A print from the Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations in the possession of Revd. Philip De Vere at St. George’s Court, Kidderminster, England

[The people said, “Jesus] commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” Mark 1:27b

Unclean spirits attack unexpectedly and repeatedly and make themselves at home in my body and mind. It takes all my energy to remember to summon the help of the Lord to expel them.

In the name of Jesus, I command you demons of low self-esteem, despair, negativity, prejudice, denial, blame, resentment, self-righteousness, and fear to be quiet and be gone.

Lord, fill me with your love and peace.

Moving closer

Jesus calls Peter and Andrew

Then [Simon and his brother Andrew] abandoned their nets and followed him.
Mark 1:18

Today’s readings are full of movement: Jonah begins a three-day journey; the people of Nineveh put on sackcloth as a sign of repentance; in Psalm 25 we exhort God to guide us in God’s truth; Paul reminds us the world as we know it is passing away; Jesus invites Simon and Andew, James and John to come after him and the fishermen follow him.

What do my daily actions show? Am I moving closer to the goodness and love in my heart? Am I following Jesus’ way of compassion and peace? Am I inviting others to walk with me as I discover how to love and forgive?

Today I will begin a journey of kindness and respect towards all people.

Honor and respect

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you? 1 Corinthians 6:19

May I remember that, whatever our differences may be, we each house God’s Spirit of goodness and love.

May I honor the temple of the Holy Spirit mine or others’with respect, kindness, peace, forbearance, patience, forgiveness, and compassion.

Generous in forgiveness

Grigory Gaagarin (1810-1893)
Baptism of Christ

Turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
Isaiah 55:7b-8

The week has been full of stress. Today I feel in great need of God’s gentle comfort, mercy, and compassion.

May I also remember to imitate God’s kindness and forgiveness and to follow the Way of care for all of God’s creation, especially the people I find difficult to love.

God’s glorious light

Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
The Star of Bethlehem
watercolor and gouache, 1890

Though darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds, the peoples,
Upon you the LORD will dawn,
and over you his glory will be seen. Isaiah 60:2

Today I will not let the darkness of the pandemic, political posturing, and social tumult cover me. I will shine the glory of God’s love and compassion and comfort in my home, workplace, and community to help dissipate the clouds of fear, unrest, and discord that trouble our world.

Feed the hungry

Ivan Bandura
Feeding the hungry mouths at Euromaidan in Kiev

“Jesus said to his disciples, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’” Matthew 25:35-36

There are many people I know or have known who struggle to recover from addiction and stay sober.

So when I opened the rectory office door to a young woman who greeted me with: “Hi! I’m a recovering addict and alcoholic!” — my spontaneous reaction was delight and a loud “Yay!”

“I know, hey?” she said with a smile that matched mine and made her eyes shine with godly brilliance.

She wanted to receive Communion. Had I known where the key to the Tabernacle was kept, I would have taken her to the chapel and served her. As it was, I invited her into the rectory and said to the priest, “This young lady would like to receive Communion.”

He barely acknowledged her and kept his eyes on his computer while he said, “I’ll meet you in the chapel in ten minutes.”

The light faded out of her face. She looked at him, assessing him, maybe judging him. “Thanks,” she said, “But it’s almost time for lunch. I have to go.”

At the door, I wished her well, sketched a Sign of the Cross over her, and made a silent prayer that she continue on the hard road of recovery.

Sometimes it is my failures to feed others that show me how to do better the next time. May I continue to have opportunities.

Countercultural

Parable of the Talents
between 1400 and 1500

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability.” Matthew 25:14-15

I am imagining another scenario: the man gave a fourth servant half a talent. This servant bought bread with the talent and distributed it to the poor, the widows, the orphans, the lame, and the ill. When the man returned from his journey, all of those who had received bread were waiting to give him thanks.

What would the man say to the servant to whom he had given half a talent?

Sometimes it is necessary to be countercultural, to refuse to contribute to a system that seeks its own gratification and forgets those in need.

Seek Wisdom

One who watches for [Wisdom] at dawn will not be disappointed, for she will be found sitting at the gate. Wisdom 6:14

In our awareness, we will find the Wisdom of God’s love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace sitting at the gate of our heart.

Today I will open my heart to Wisdom, to seek and find the Truth of God’s loving presence in every breath.

Blessed are we

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La sermon des béatitudes
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum of Art

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

Blessed are we when we treat ourselves and others with compassion, forgiveness, and mercy. This is our birthright for we have been made in God’s own image of kindness and love.

Today I will put aside resentment, blame, and negative judgment. I will remember that all people are children of God and treat everyone with respect and kindness.