Tag Archives: scripture

God loves all things that are

“Zacchaeus’ tree” (sycamore fig tree), Jericho, Palestine, 2012
via Wikimedia Commons

For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?

Wisdom 11:24-25

When I judge others negatively, I am in effect criticizing God’s wisdom, God’s creation, God’s heart of compassion.

Today I will ask God to open my mind and heart to know and love the members of this vast human family with God’s own mind and heart.

Dialogue, not monologue

Dirck van Delen, Church Interior with the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), 1653, Oil on panel. Gift of Asbjorn R. Lunde, 1981. The Clark Art Institute, 1981.63.

[Jesus said,] “The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity…'” Luke 18:11

Prayer is a dialogue with God, not a monologue with myself. In prayer, I speak to God about what is in my heart, confident that God listens without judgment. And I listen to God, confident that God replies with compassion and wisdom. God awakens me to my need to make a change in my life, to offer amends to those I have hurt, to rest when I am tired, to sit with grief, to love myself and my neighbor.

Today I will remember to tell God what is on my mind and in my heart, and then listen for God’s reply.

Raise your heart to the Lord

Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands, 1873

My help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

When I forget Who is in charge, Whose vision is unfolding for our world, Who is the center of my life, I tend to become anxious and discouraged. When I remember God is holding me and everyone else in a loving, compassionate embrace, I can relax and put my energy into enjoying the gift of the moment and helping where I am able.

Today I will remember to continually raise my heart to the Lord in prayer when life’s events threaten to take over my mind and energy.

Thank you, Lord

Codex Aureus Epternacensis
Cleansing of the ten lepers, ca.1035-1040

And one of the lepers, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Luke 17:15-16

Even if I am not aware of God’s healing presence within and around me, every day brings multiple opportunities to fall at the feet of the Lord in gratitude for my life, the people who love me, the beauty of the natural world, and the many material comforts I enjoy.

Today I will thank God for everything, even the events that seem most difficult to bear.

A vision of faith, hope, and love

Mustard Seeds in a Plate By Adityamadhav83 [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. Habakkuk 1:3b, 2:2-3

The tiniest seed of faith in my heart helps to counteract the destruction and violence in our world today. Faith reminds me God’s vision of love and peace and perfect unity among all people will not fail.

Today I will put my hope in God. I will intentionally choose love, peace, and unity in my conversations and interactions with others so that I may play a small part in bringing about God’s vision.

Pay attention

Hans Leonhard Schäufelein (c.1480–1540)/Adam Petri (1454-1527
The Rich Man in Hell and the Poor Lazarus in Abraham’s Lap, from Das Plenarium
woodcut, 1517

Jesus said to the Pharisees: “Abraham replied [to the rich man], ‘Between us and you a great chasm is established.’” Luke 16:26

The great chasm is a lack of awareness. The rich man never noticed Lazarus. He didn’t notice Lazarus’ hunger, illness, pain — he wasn’t aware of his presence at all.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to pay attention to the people we encounter at home, at work, in the community, around the world. We are called to honor the dignity of all people and serve everyone in a respectful manner.

Today I will consciously take notice of the people I encounter. I will offer everyone a kind word and a listening ear.

God in the center

A.N. Mironov (1975-)
Parable of the Unjust Steward‎
Oil on canvas, 2012

[Jesus said,] “‘No one can serve two masters.” Luke 16:13a

Some nights the pain in my joints seems to take over my whole being, and it takes a while to come back to myself and pray for help. It’s times like these that remind me it’s easy for me to remove God from the center of my universe. Social media, my smart phone, a resentment I’m carrying, a task I need to perform, pain… anything can become an idol when I focus my energy and attention on it.

Today I will consciously put God in the center of my life by talking everything over with the Lord. I will remember God is love, compassion, wisdom, and always present to help me in difficult moments.

Not lost

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Return of the Prodigal Son
drawing with pen and brush
between 1626 and 1669
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

[Jesus said,] “‘He was lost and has been found.’” Luke 15:32

I might feel like I’m lost, as if I have no direction, no purpose, no one who needs me… but whether I feel the Presence or not, God is always with me. I am never lost.

Today I will return to awareness, feel my breath, ask for help, and trust God hears, welcomes, and guides me home.

Carrying my own cross

George du Maurier (1834-1896)
Saint Paul in a Roman prison cell
with Onesimus.

Jesus addressed them, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27

We carry personal crosses such as grief, addiction, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and fatigue. These burdens can be heavy at times and we often wish someone else would carry them for us.

Although others may help and support us, we are responsible for carrying our own burdens. When we are able to live with patience and loving acceptance instead of despair and self-pity, our burdens seem lighter.

God’s kindness and compassion are always present to comfort us as we do our best to follow the Lord’s way of peace and healing.

Today I will take time to rest. I will ask the Lord to show me how to carry my burdens with grace and ease.


JESUS MAFA. The poor invited to the feast, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48397 [retrieved August 28, 2022].

An attentive ear is the joy of the wise.
Sirach 3:29b

Lord, today I will listen for your voice in sacred Scripture, in my heart, and in the suffering of the world. Help me to quiet my worries. Show me how to respond to the needs of the poor.