Tag Archives: Christ

Leaving home

Flight into Egypt
France, 17th century
polychromed oakwood
collection of the Musée L, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. Matthew 2:14

Imagine how frightened Joseph and Mary were — and how courageous — to leave their homeland in the face of danger and persecution, and to make a new life in a strange country.

My ancestors came to America from Ireland, most of them so poor they traveled in steerage. One side of the family was illiterate. On the other side, my great-great grandmother died soon after arriving in New York and so did the baby twins to whom she had just given birth. Men on both sides of the family took work as laborers and mill workers. They saved what they could from their tiny salaries, bought houses, turned their yards into vegetable gardens, and made sure their children got a good education. Today I live very comfortably, thanks to the courage of my ancestors.

May I always extend a welcome to newcomers. May I be grateful for their example of courage and their reminder of my own family story. May I remember Jesus, too, was a refugee.

 

 

 

Blessed by the Light

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
Isaiah 9:1

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and
the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7b

Grace and peace unending, eternal light of love, compassion, forgiveness, comfort.

Today I will make use of God’s gifts to me to dispel a little bit of the gloom that pervades our society and world.

Patience

“…the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”
Matthew 11:5

See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. James 5:7b-8a

In patience I find
gentleness
forgiveness
endurance
forbearance
compassion
hope

Today, Lord, bless me with patience.

Harmony, not uniformity

Second Sunday of Advent

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another. Romans 15:5a

Each of our unique human voices blends one with the next to make a holy harmony that resounds with forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, nonviolence, and joy in praise and thanksgiving to the One who created us in and for love.

Jesus, remember me

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Three Crosses
drypoint and burin on paper (III/IV), 1653
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The other [criminal hanging there said], “We have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:41-42

Today I will follow the example of the criminal hanging on a cross near Jesus: I will take responsibility for my words and actions. I will be accountable for how I treat others. I will keep my focus on the Lord and ask Jesus to remember me.

Quiet amid the frenzy

[Jesus said,] “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified.” Luke 21:9a

I believe there is a force in the world that is set on insinuating terror into our hearts and minds. The media with its constant assaultive images of war, destruction, and human cruelty is an instrument of this force.

People who are afraid find it difficult to think clearly and are more easily controlled.

Today I refuse to be manipulated. I choose to avoid the frenzy of the media and instead opt to spend quiet time with the Lord. I trust that God will show me how to be of service to my neighbors in this time of injustice, violence, and grief.

Alive

God Is Love
SashaLee19 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said,] “He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Luke 20:38

My small understanding of what it means to be alive is usually limited to mental, physical, and emotional sensations. My thoughts race, flow, go in circles, stagnate. In this body, I experience pain, energy, fatigue, hunger, thirst, cold, heat. As I go through a day, I feel joy, love, peace, sorrow, resentment, fear, confusion.

I must also be aware of the vast, silent, still, unending presence of God, the Mystery who transcends my best definition of “alive.”