Tag Archives: Gospel of John

Peace

Franciszek Smuglewicz (1745 – 1807)
Doubting Thomas
oil on canvas, ca.1800
Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:21a

Jesus repeats it to be sure we get the message: “Peace be with you.”

This is the Lord of peace and reconciliation, the Lord of forgiveness and compassion, the Lord of comfort and mercy.

Lord, fill me with your peace and compassion today.

Hope

Caravaggio
Mary Magdalene Grieving
oil on canvas, between 1605 and1606

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. John 20:1

She probably couldn’t sleep from grief. She got up at the first possible moment and went to care for the body of Jesus. And he was gone.

When did she let go of the fear that someone had snatched his body and begin to hope he had risen from the dead?

Lord, help me to choose hope over fear. Let me rejoice in the gifts of today.

The last words

Chapelle Dévôt-Christ
at Perpignan Cathedral
14th century crucifix

Having bought a linen cloth, [Joseph of Aramathea] took [Jesus] down, wrapped him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mark 15:46

The story of Jesus’ Passion is deeply distressing with its matter-of-fact narration of the human experiences of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, injustice, cruelty, mockery, bullying, abuse, pain, and suffering.

And yet… and yet it ends with caring and tenderness as Joseph of Aramathea removes Jesus’ body from the cross, wraps it gently in fine linen, and lays it to rest.

It seems to me that compassion and kindness will always be the last words in our human story.

Lord, help me to reach out with your tender care to those who are suffering and in need.

Dying to live

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Field of Wheat with Cypresses
oil on canvas, 1889
Metropolitan Museum of Art

[Jesus answered them,] “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

God has planted the seed of unconditional love in my heart.

May I let the hard shell of resentment, indifference, selfishness, and prejudice that surrounds this precious seed of love die.

I want to do God’s will and produce the living fruit of God’s love in our fragile world.

God so loves us

 

For God so loved the world… John 3:16a

God reveals himself in the person of Jesus from whom we learn God is compassion, healing, forgiveness, service to the poor and vulnerable, the shunned and abandoned.

May I also be a revelation of God’s love in the world.

The wisdom to trust

Benvenuto Tisi (1481-1559)
Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple
between circa 1540 and circa 1550
National Galleries of Scotland

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25

Today I am feeling small and fragile. I will ask God for the wisdom to lean on the Lord’s gentle strength and trust that everything I need today will be provided.

God-reminders

JESUS MAFA. Jesus multiplies the loaves and fish, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved June 14, 2020]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr

“Do not forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its saraph serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your fathers.” Deuteronomy 8:14b-16a

It is God who leads me through and out of the dark, arid, despairing times. The kindness of people who listen to me, encourage me, and feed me with their love and compassion are God-reminders of Who is in charge.

The breath of love and compassion

Pentecost

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:4-5

Today I will use my gifts to bless the people in my family, community, country, and world with love and peace.

May I embody God’s compassion with every breath I take.

Hear me, O Lord

Philip Galle (1537-1612) after Jan van der Straet
The Meeting of the Apostles and the Women
in the Upper Room
engraving
National Gallery of Art

Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks. Psalm 27:7-8

There are so many people to pray for, so many people who are ill, suffering, lonely, afraid, or abused. People who are locked down in nursing homes because of the COVID-19 virus. People who have lost their homes and have become refugees. People who are fleeing unjust and unsafe regimes and are seeking asylum in new countries. People who are being trafficked and sold into slavery. People who have no one to pray for them.

Today I will remember to pray. I will ask the Lord to hear me as I pray for those in need in our fragile, troubled world.

Entwined

A street of Pillars at the ruins of the city Samaria
PALÄSTINA und das OSTOJORDANLAND (Julius Hoffmann, Stuttgart, 1925)

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.” John 14:20

Time passes, life events impact us, we adapt, grow, develop, move on.

But our union with God never changes. We are forever entwined with God, eternally in harmony with kindness, compassion, reverence, joy, and love.