Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

Follow the Way of Love

Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Christ Carrying the Cross

Jesus said to his apostles: “…whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38

We are carrying a number of crosses today: the public crosses of the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, bullying, abuse, self-serving  leadership,  destructive sandstorms, wild fires, and floods.

We also carry personal crosses such as pain, illness, family divisions, addiction, loneliness, and grief.

No matter the cross we carry, Jesus asks us to follow him on the Way of Love and Compassion.

Today I will bring God’s love with me wherever I go. I will trust love will lighten the burdens that I and others carry.

Do not be afraid

Zeynel Cebeci
A male house sparrow (Passer domesticus’) at Eskibaraj Dam Lake, Adana – Turkey.
7 November 2018

Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one.”  Matthew 10:26

Today I will open my heart to God’s love. I will ask for the grace to love as God loves. I will ask God to fill me with love, peace, compassion, and joy.

Love heals fear. Today I will choose love over fear.

Becoming obedient

Jesus Before Pilate, James Tissot (1836-1902)
First Interview (Jésus devant Pilate. Premier entretien).
gouache over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

[Jesus] humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8

In all times God walks with us through fear, pain, uncertainty, sorrow, and grief. Our part is to trust God’s will, trust God’s vision, trust God’s love, trust God is with us.

Today I will accept that this is a time of illness and isolation. I will ask God to show me God’s will for me and for the grace to carry it out.

 

 

Transfigured

White as light

[Jesus] was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. Matthew 17:2

Those moments of transfiguring awe
when you see a rainbow in a dewdrop,
the translucent wing of a seagull in flight,
when you hear the silence
and know you are in the presence of God.

 

 

Nonviolent authority

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus tenté dans le désert
gouache over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”
Matthew 4:8-10

Here is a glimpse into the nonviolent nature of Jesus. He listens to the devil’s words without judgment, but, with calm authority, refuses to participate in the devil’s campaign for power.

Jesus’ command of the scriptures and knowledge of the nature of God form his responses and become teaching moments — in which, without aggression, he offers the devil the possibility of conversion.

Lord, teach me your Way of nonviolence that I may serve God in love and justice.

The bad and the good

Károly Ferenczy (1862–1917)
Sermon on the Mountain
oil on canvas, 1896
Hungarian National Gallery

Jesus said to his disciples, “Your heavenly Father… makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” Matthew 5:45

Whenever I catch myself judging others, I remind myself that God loves all people equally. No one’s life is more or less valuable to the One who created us all in love and for love.

Lord, help me to see as you see and love as you love.

My choice

Persian Jesus (Isa) miniature of
Sermon on the Mount

If you choose you can keep the commandments,
they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Sirach 15:15-17

Today I will choose the qualities of God: patience, kindness, civility, respect, compassion, delight, and love.

I will choose self-responsibility and forgiveness.

I will choose to act with integrity and mercy.

I will choose quiet time with God.

 

 

Add flavor

George Pencz (ca.1500-1550)
To Feed the Hungry
Engraving
National Gallery of Art

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13

No matter our situation, we can add flavor to life by sharing kindness with those who are hungry for attention. We can offer the shelter of our compassion to those who are suffering. We can wrap the lonely in the caring warmth of our companionship.

Today I will seek quiet moments to pray and meditate so that I may not lose my taste for loving and serving my neighbor.

Darkness dispelled by love

Léonard Gaultier, 1561-1641
Follow Me and I will Make You Fishers of Men
engraving, probably c. 1576/1580
Washington, National Gallery of Art

Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. 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 8:23b—9:1

The light of hope is always with me in the person of Jesus, who calls me by name and asks me to follow his way of forgiveness, compassion, and peace.

Lord, you are healing for those who suffer from despair, grief, and injustice. Help me to bring your light of love with me today that I may be a comforting presence to those in need.

Blessed with peace

Rip Caswell (b.1962)
Baptism of Christ

May the Lord bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:11b

Today may we be blessed with
trust in God’s unfailing presence,
confidence in God’s love and patience,
comfort in God’s peace.