Tag Archives: Jesus

Let’s accept peace

Fritz von Uhde (1848-1911)
Der Gang nach Emmaus
pastel on paper, 1891
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

[Jesus] stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36b

Peace is a gift from the Lord.

May I let go of worry, efforts to control others, fear of the future, dissatisfaction with the present, resentment, and blame.

Today may I graciously accept the Lord’s gift of peace.

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.

To know the Lord

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La transfiguration
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum

Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Mark 9:5-6

To look on the brilliance of the Lord… it is a terrifying thought and a compelling desire.

It is a call in and to me: I want to know the Lord.

Today I will seek the Lord in holy scripture, in the glory of creation, especially in the faces of the people I meet. I will listen for the voice of the Lord in the words of people in need, in the sounds of nature, in the silence of my heart.

Angels of compassion

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

[Jesus] was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:13b

I have been in a desert with wild beasts that trigger old trauma, where despair and fear and bad dreams keep me thirsting for refreshing, relaxing sleep.

And angels in the form of faithful friends who listen and comfort, who pray for me when I cannot pray for myself, have ministered to me.

Thank you, Lord, for being with me in the desert times. Bless all the kind and compassionate people who help me day by day.

Make me clean

Christ and the Leper
Mosaic in Monreale

“[Jesus,] if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Mark 1:40b

Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean of resentment, selfishness, racism, low self-esteem, disdain, and fear.

Bless me, Lord. FIll me with your joy.