Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

Teaching

Chris Cook, b.1962
Men of Galilee
Acrylic on canvas

Love, forgiveness, compassion, nonviolence, prayer, generosity, service to the poor… does my life witness teach others these commands of the Lord?

Today I will remember Jesus is with me and ask for the courage to embody his commands. I will look to others to be my teachers, too, so that I may become more skilled in the ways of the Lord.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “…[teach] them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18a, 20a

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

Listen

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858)
Преображение, 1824

When I listen to the Word of God, what do I hear?
  Peace.
  Do not be afraid.
  Love God and your neighbor and yourself.
  Welcome strangers.
  Feed the hungry.
  Shelter the homeless.
  Do not worry about tomorrow.
  Forgive your enemies.

Today I will listen to the Lord and be transfigured into a brighter image of God’s love and goodness, kindness and compassion.

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matthew 17:5

Tempted

Augustin Hirschvogel (1503-1553) Temptation of Christ

Augustin Hirschvogel (1503-1553)
Temptation of Christ

When I am hungry, angry, tired, lonely, afraid, or in pain, I tend to be short on patience, compassion, and forbearance. I am tempted to snap at others, wallow in discouragement, and forget my call to treat all of God’s people with respect.

Jesus shows me how to turn temptation into contemplation of God’s Word, and to let God’s vision of love triumph over a moment’s satisfaction.

[Jesus] fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” Matthew 4:2-3

Sufficient for today

View of Wildflowers, Fields, and Lake Kinnaret (Sea of Galilee) By Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

View of Wildflowers, Fields, and Lake Kinnaret (Sea of Galilee)
By Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Let me put my attention and energy on the things that help bring peace and harmony to our fractured world: enjoying friends and family, listening to someone who needs to talk, encouraging someone who is lonely or depressed or afraid, speaking kindly to a stranger, spending time alone in prayer and meditation to be filled again with the love and patience of God.

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” Matthew 6:27

Who is my enemy

Daniel Chodowiecki (1726 – 1801) Betende Frau mit Rosenkranz, 1773

Daniel Chodowiecki (1726 – 1801)
Betende Frau mit Rosenkranz, 1773

God has the power to heal the wounds and divisions in my life and in our world. Today I will collaborate with the Lord by praying for those I find difficult to love or respect, and those I fear or resent.

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5: 43-45)

Shine on

23717_helping-handsWe are made in the image of God’s love and goodness. When we shine love and goodness into the world, the light of God chases away the darkness.

A kind word. Respectful listening. A visit to someone who is lonely. Gratitude. A smile. Comfort. A peaceful presence.

Every tiny bit of love and goodness we shine brings light and healing to our broken world.

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16