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April 23, 2014 – John 20:19-23

upper room

Rado Jovar: The Upper Room

Easter is an eight day celebration beginning on Easter Sunday, running through the Easter Octave and ending on the Second Sunday of Easter. This tradition reflects the joy the early apostles felt as they experienced the new presence of the Risen Christ. Jesus offers us this same experience today. Wishing all those who follow the Noontimes a graced and peace-filled Easter Wednesday.

There are many times in our lives when we feel complete and whole, when we want to celebrate life’s goodness, when we want to share the good news we have heard and seen and touched for ourselves. An event causes us to fully understand that we are a small part of an enormous whole. Deep in our innermost core we believe that we bring a unique and necessary hope to the world. We look for a loved one, friend or colleague with who we might share the story of our Easter newness. We throw ourselves into play or work, fully willing to follow the gentle leader who stands waiting before us, saying . . .

 Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.

In our newly-found Easter selves, we step forward to participate in God’s plan.

The disciples work and play and pray with Christ; they see his story unfold before them and still they are startled to see that they have an integral part in God’s plan of salvation. Let us reflect on the Christ’s call . . . and let us determine to be true Easter people who go where we are sent. For further reflection, read the post entitled I send you on this blog at: http://thenoontimes.com/2013/04/03/i-send-you/

Easter Tuesday 2014


magdalene weeping at tombEaster is an eight day celebration beginning on Easter Sunday, running through the Easter Octave and ending on the Second Sunday of Easter. This tradition reflects the joy the early apostles felt as they experienced the new presence of the Risen Christ. Jesus offers us this same experience today. Wishing all those who follow the Noontimes a graced and peace-filled Easter Tuesday.

April 22, 2014 – John 20:14-18

There are many times in our lives when we do not recognize the Christ who works, kneels or plays beside us. We believe ourselves alone or abandoned. We find that we are overwhelmed with work or emotion. We look for a loved one, friend or colleague who will fill the emptiness.  We throw ourselves into play or work, and all the while we overlook the gentle leader who stands waiting before us, calling our name.

Mary Magdalene works and lives with Jesus for several years and yet she mistakes him for the gardener. Let us consider if or how . . . when or why we look past Jesus when he stands ready to help us. And let us determine to step into the newness and freedom Christ gives us today.  Read the Why are you Weeping post on this blog at: http://thenoontimes.com/2013/04/02/why-are-you-weeping/

Easter Monday 2014


empty easter tombEaster is an eight day celebration beginning on Easter Sunday, running through the Easter Octave and ending on the Second Sunday of Easter. This tradition reflects the joy the early apostles felt as they experienced the new presence of the Risen Christ. Jesus offers us this same experience today. Wishing all those who follow the Noontimes a graced and peace-filled Easter Monday.

April 21, 2014 – John 20:11-13

We give thanks for the miracle of the Easter resurrection. We remember that we rise with Christ in newness. We feel the presence of the Spirit within us. We have made our Lenten journey as we traveled up to Jerusalem, and now we move into our lives in a different way . . .

God gives each of us a talent that brings hope to the world. We are to use it.

God gifts each of us with attributes and a pathway. We are to follow them.

God calls each of us to union in the Spirit. We are to respond immediately and with passion.

Today we visit the empty tomb Where the Body Had Been. Follow this link to a Noontime reflection on the Easter miracle: http://thenoontimes.com/2013/04/01/where-the-body-had-been/

 

 

Never Before


christs-empty-tombEaster Sunday, April 20, 2014

John 7:40-52

Never Before

When Jesus enters Jerusalem, his presence creates division, particularly in regards to the origins of the Messiah. In these last few days of Lent we have reflected on how our encounter with Christ engenders questions and sparks discussion. Scripture has shown us how Jesus, followed by large crowds, is proclaimed the new king of a new kingdom. We have participated in the ancient liturgies of the Triduum and, along with countless generations of the faithful, we declare Christ the Messiah. Despite of, or perhaps because of, Jesus’ message of liberation and rescue, arguments separate us as we react to the call of the Gospel. Today we are reminded that: Never before has anyone spoken like this one.

On this day when we proclaim Christ risen from a world of death and darkness, what do we believe?

On this day when we say Jesus has entered our lives in a particular way, how do we enact the Gospel call to love those who hate us?

On this day when we celebrate the presence of God in our lives, how do we proclaim to the world that . . . the one who stands before us has never been seen before?

EmptyTombWishing Easter peace and blessings to all in the Noontime Circle.

Asking Easter joy and grace for all the faithful.

Trusting in Easter transformation for all of God’s creation.

Amen.

Discussion


Holy Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy-Saturday

John 7:37-39

Discussion

Yesterday we reflected on God’ invitation to us that we enter into an intimate relationship with the Word. Today as we rest in the promise that Christ returns in a way we cannot understand, we discover how or if, when or why we thirst to know more about God. If you did not listen to the long version of the Avivah Zornberg interview with Krista Tippett yesterday . . . take the time today. Record questions. Initiate discussions. And in this Holy Week that begins today, share the story of your personal exodus, transformation and redemption.

http://www.onbeing.org/program/avivah-zornberg-the-transformation-of-pharaoh-moses-and-god/6258/audio?embed=1

laying jesus in the tomb

Questions


Good Friday, April 18, 2014

Red Sea Find

Red Sea Discovery

John 7:32-36

Questions

In today’s Noontime we hear words from Jesus that cause his listeners, both then and now, to ask questions. Rather than stifling curiosity that will lead to a fuller understanding of his identity and purpose, Jesus initiates a sense of inquiry that continues today. Jesus frequently answers questions with further questions. Jesus regularly creates open conversations instead of shutting down curiosity. Jesus refuses to take these questions as a challenge to his divinity and instead, uses these questions to call each of us to our own divinity.

Any creed that provides firm and pat answers to all question about our relationship with God does not reflect the life Jesus lives with his followers. What we experience today is God’s invitation to open and free dialog with God’s Word. We experience the patient and compassionate Spirit that abides with us despite our reluctance to believe.

On this Good Friday, find an hour of time to listen to an On Being podcast of an interview conducted by Krista Tippett with Avivah Zornberg, a midrash expert. (The interview was conducted on April 7, 2005 and was first aired on April 10, 2014.) We investigate the Exodus story about a people who were once honored guests who have become slaves in ancient Egypt.

“With a master of midrash as our guide, we walk through the Exodus story at the heart of Passover. It’s not the simple narrative you’ve watched at the movies or learned in Sunday school. Neither Moses or Pharaoh, nor the oppressed Israelites or even God, are as they seem. As Avivah Zornberg reveals, Exodus is a cargo of hidden stories — telling the messy, strange, redemptive truth of us as we are, and life as it is”. (On Being: http://www.onbeing.org/ April 10, 2014)

Zornberg points out that this story of flight does not happen in order that we merely re-tell or re-read it; rather, it takes place so that we will each tell a greater story of our own exodus from slavery to salvation. Listen today . . . and think about how each of us might recount our own redemption story.  Listen today . . . ask questions today . . . experience the events of Good Friday in which Christ makes his own exodus . . . and be prepared to listen to God speak to us in a new and redemptive way.

http://www.onbeing.org/program/avivah-zornberg-the-transformation-of-pharaoh-moses-and-god/6258/audio?embed=1

Listen to the unedited version of this interview to hear how Zornberg explains God’s passion for the faithful, and the importance of women in this saga when she connects The Song of Songs and Exodus.

The image above is an object found in the Red Sea. The image of a chariot axle is superimposed. To find out more, click on the image or go to: www.bibleresearcher.org/comments/Exodus-the-crossing.html

To learn more about the midrash, go to: www.myjewishlearning.com/texts/Rabbinics/Midrash.shtml


Holy Thursday, April 17, 2014

John 7:28

jesus healingA Prayer for Holy Thursday

Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him”.

The Messiah stands before us and cries out. How might we show him that we recognize him?

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. (Isaiah 25:1)

The Spirit lives within us, constant and abiding. How might we acknowledge the presence of God within?

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you. (2 Kings 20:5)

Our God calls to each of us. How do we respond?

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort. (Isaiah 66:13)

We ask for healing and salvation. How do we show our love and awe of the LORD?

I will never forget you, says the LORD. (Isaiah 49:15)

We are the well-loved Children of the Living God. How do we give thanks?

Whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)

We have the opportunity to witness to the presence of God. How do we show our gratitude and love?

Can it Be?


Holy Wednesday, April 16, 2014

prayer-for-messiah2John 7:25-26

Can It Be?

Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah?

We have journeyed with the Prophet Amos to listen to God’s words and to reflect on the world’s woes. We have experienced Amos’ visions and seen the foreshadowing of the coming of the Messiah. We have examined life’s many pathways and determined how we might best live through the bounty or obstacles we encounter. We have opened our eyes and our ears to see and hear the Messiah.

On this morning before the Easter Triduum, we wonder if is possible that the gift of resurrection might lie before us.

On this noon before the Easter Triduum, we declare ourselves in hope of Messianic transformation.

On this eve of the Easter Triduum, we prepare to enter into the Messianic feast.

 

 

Appearances


phariseesHoly Tuesday, April 15, 2014

John 7:14-24

Appearances

We might picture ourselves in this story on the side of Jesus in this debate; and yet each time we judge by appearances we chose the side of those who are narrow-minded.

We might picture ourselves in this story as a member of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus; and yet each time we judge by appearances we chose the side of those who are short-sighted.

We might picture ourselves in this story among Jesus’ disciples who follow him up to Jerusalem; and yet each time we judge by appearances we chose the side of those who focused on themselves.

You circumcise a man on the Sabbath . . . are you angry with me because I made a whole person well on the Sabbath?

We seek the “in crowd” while we forget to look for the principles of those who company we keep.

We long for comfort while we neglect the simple basics of life for the refugee, the homeless, the wisdom and the orphan.

We take pride in our country, our parish, our family, and ourselves while we feel no shame that our neighbors go without medical care, a diet that sustains or access to clean water.

Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.

We listen to and even pass on gossip. We remain silent when our co-workers ostracize a colleague. We believe that our pettiness can be hidden and that our transformation can wait for a more convenient day.

Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.

We gently yet firmly put an end to gossip in our lives. We speak carefully yet firmly about local and global injustice. We engage in acts of kindness that rescue and transform others and ourselves.

In this Holy Week that announces the Easter miracle, and in each day of our lives . . . our actions speak loudly about our relationships. Our actions say volumes about our image of self and God. Our actions declare how much we heed Christ’s words when he calls us to judge as we ought . . . with justice . . . rather than by appearances.

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