Tag Archives: forgiveness

A peaceful solution

Refugee Children
Andy Wheatley, UK Department for International Development
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” Mark 9:37

When I am dismayed by the violence, finger-pointing, injustice, and anger that is prevalent in society, I look deep inside to uncover and let go of my own envy, arrogance, selfishness, and resentment.

To bring the fruit of peace, responsibility, compassion, and forgiveness to my interactions is my daily calling so that I may be a small part of the solution to what troubles our world.

Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. James 3:16-18

Impediments

Meister von Müstair
Heilung des Taubstummen
fresco, ca.830
Müstair (Schweiz), Klosterkirche St. Johann

Sometimes I cannot hear the Lord’s call to love my neighbor, forgive those who hurt me, and befriend the poor. It’s not that I willfully oppose the Lord’s call, but that I am afflicted in the moment with anxiety, depression, physical pain, or other distracting states of mind and being.

May I forgive myself for my human imperfections and pray that the impediments that prevent me from hearing, speaking, and acting on the Good News of love and healing be removed.

[Jesus] said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. Mark 7:34-35

Family

Let us be the family of the Lord. Let us love one another. Let us pray for our enemies. Let us help the poor and the homeless, the refugees and immigrants. Let us comfort the lonely and grief-stricken. Let us welcome the rejected and abandoned. Let us show compassion to the suffering. Let us forgive those who have hurt us.

[… Jesus said,] “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:34b-35

Transfigured

Linda McCray
Transfiguration
acrylic & sand from the River Jordan on floating wood panel

The outward transfiguration of Jesus calls me to an inward transfiguration that leads me to listen more carefully to God’s Word.

Perhaps my most difficult daily challenge is to hear and carry out Jesus’ command to love each member of the human family—my neighbor. To be an authentic follower of Jesus, I must practice forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and nonviolence towards all people, not just those who please me.

Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over [Peter, James, and John]; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Mark 9:7

Temptation

This is my temptation: to let the violence, tragedies, and selfishness in the world frighten me so that I forget my birthright as a beloved child of God and become distracted from participating in God’s work of reconciliation, forgiveness, and compassion. I am tempted to believe my small efforts to pray, be kind, and comfort the suffering are not a part of the solution to the world’s problems.

Along with the wild beasts and demons in my desert today, there are also angels to care for me. I need not make an idol of fear. I am reassured that I have a part to play in making God’s vision of love and unity a reality.

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:12

Clean and whole

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)
Jesus heals a leper
Pen and ink drawing, c. 1650-1655
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet

So much conspires to tell me I am an outcast in this society: unemployment, chronic headaches, overwhelming fatigue, and the ever-accelerating pace and stress of modern life when what I crave is time—time to go slowly, to rest, listen, and discern God’s will for me.

When I become aware that I am feeling ashamed of who I am, I pray to be reunited with the unconditional love and compassion that is my birthright. The Lord is always willing to touch me and make me whole again.

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

Wisdom’s Way

I perceive the resplendence of wisdom when I stay aware of and act on opportunities to love my neighbor, forgive those who have hurt me, take responsibility for my words and actions, give food to the hungry, visit the sick and lonely, seek peaceful resolutions to conflict.

I find wisdom in my own loneliness, in my realization of my need for God’s guidance, comfort, and boundless love as I continue to make mistakes on the Way to perfection.

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her. Wisdom 6:12