Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


paths 5Easter Thursday, April 8, 2021

Matthew 13:1-17

So Many Paths – Part III

Jesus says: “To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, more will be taken away”.

Some lives are hidden journeys, following tracks laid down by unknown forces that pull us forward rapidly. We fly past dense underbrush that hides us from the openness of the world. We are enslaved to a strict pathway that does not allow for deviation in any way. Journeys like this seem pleasant and ordered but they eliminate the opportunity to make choices. We find that we have no freedom. When we realize that we have chosen a pathway that thinks for us and keeps us away from the fullness of creation, we find that we are missing out not only on risk and danger but on our own development. We begin to understand Jesus’ words when he says that those with more will prosper and those with little will fail. It dawns on us that these words do not refer to material goods but rather, to a life lived in fullness of heart versus a life lived with a narrowness of mind. A constricted, prescribed and confining journey brings with it its own punishment of more constriction; while open and generous pathways call us out of ourselves and ask us to stretch. Open and flexible journeys offer us a new prosperity of love, peace and fulfillment. We discover that as we move away from restriction to stretch beyond our comfort zones, we learn about the depth and breadth and beauty of our gifts.

paths 6“This is why I speak in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand’. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them”.

There are paths that bring us changes that are so sudden that at first we believe ourselves to be lost. Huge, impassable obstacles loom large before us and all we see is a roadblock. All we hear is chaos. When we look closely, however, to discern God’s plan and call, we notice alternative routes we had not previously seen. We hear precious words of advice and encouragement to which we had earlier been deaf. With this new discovery of trusting God, we also realize a life of eagerness, adventure and acumen. We become wiser. We hear better. We see further. We find endurance. We find that we can bear far more that we had imagined. We understand that we are loved far more than we had hoped. Our eyes see opportunity where before we had seen loss; our ears hear rejoicing where before we heard only dirges.

paths 14Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears because they hear. Many prophets and righteous people have longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Spaths 9ome journeys convince us that the world is made of two kinds of people: the good and the bad. We find ourselves believing the illusion that we can divide everyone and every idea into opposing camps or positions. And then we find ourselves either allying with the position we think is the safest and most suitable . . . or we struggle to achieve an impossible compromise that addresses none of the problems we find before us. This kind of living begins as an innocent attempt to simplify our journey, and it ends in a passage that is rigid, unforgiving and blind.

Tomorrow, So Many Paths – Part IV.


Images from: https://www.joe-ks.com/2012/amazing-paths

Read Full Post »


Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

Luke 19:41-44

Ercole de" Roberti: Destruction of Jerusalem

Ercole de’ Roberti: Destruction of Jerusalem

Recognizing the Messiah

We lament the world’s injustice. We search for wisdom in the prophets. We struggle to live the Word of the Gospel. We await a Messiah.

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes”.

Jerusalem is the celebrated site of God’s presence among the Jewish people – yet Jesus laments her blindness.

“For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides”. 

The holy Temple contains the Ark of the Covenant – yet Jesus predicts the day when all will be lost.

“They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation”.

The people of God cried out for a king. God answered their prayer. Yet they did not recognize that God already lived among them.

Let us decide to address the world’s injustice. Let us listen to the wisdom in the prophets. Let us determine to live out the truths of the Gospel. And let us choose to recognize the Messiah who dwells within.

On this Easter Sunday that holds so much promise after a year of pandemic fear and social unease, we acknowledge that although the Temple of Jerusalem fell, it rose again in the body of Christ. We recognize the wisdom of the prophecy of Amos. We celebrate the limitless mercy of the Messiah.


For a homily on this reading, click on the image above or go to: http://sothl.com/2011/08/28/sermon-luke-1941-44/

Read Full Post »


Second Sunday in Lent, February 28, 2021

Psalm 94psalm-94-18-19[1]

Our Interior Law – Part IV

Blessed the one you instruct, O Lord.

We ask for wisdom so that we might discern your law that lives within each of us.

Blessed the one whom you instruct, O Lord, whom by your law you teach, giving them rest from evil days. Blessed the one you instruct, O Lord.

We look for peace in our turbulent days so that we must rest with you as we move through our days.

For the Lord will not cast off God’s people, nor abandon God’s inheritance; but judgment will be with justice, and all the upright of heart will follow it. Blessed the one you instruct, O Lord.

We look for integrity and uprightness so that we might live out the Gospel as Jesus teaches us.

When I say, “My foot is slipping,” your mercy, O Lord, sustains me; when cares abound within me, your comfort gladdens my soul. Blessed the one you instruct, O Lord.

We look for compassion and forgiveness so that we might live the love the Spirit inspires in each of us.

Blessed the one you instruct, O Lord.

We tap into our interior law, knowing that it always leads us in the best direction, understanding that it flourishes at the best of God’s time, and believing that it nourishes and sustains each of us and all of us.

Blessed the one you instruct, O Lord.

Jesus says, “Do you not yet understand or comprehend?  Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”  They answered him, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”  (Mark 8:17-21)

God’s love is far greater than we can imagine and far more durable than we can believe.  And this is God’s law of love.  There is always love in abundance . . . forever. Blessed are those who see and hear. Blessed are those who allow God to soften hearts. Blessed are those who believe that God’s law lives within.

Blessed the one you instruct, O Lord.


Image from: http://shareaverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/comfort-3/psalm-94-18-19/ 

Read Full Post »


Saturday, February 27, 2021

circumcision-of-the-heart[1]Romans 2:25-29

Our Interior Law

Part III

True circumcision is not outward, in the flesh. Rather, one is a Jew inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, not the letter; his praise is not from human beings but from God.

In the early church argument erupted over whether or not the first non-Jewish Christians must first be circumcised in order to join the movement. Luke records much of this turmoil in Acts and we see a success convening of the first Church Council to sort out the problem the fledgling group faced. Peter puts an end to the petty bickering when he says: Who was I to be able to hinder God? God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too. (Acts 11:17-18)

Some of Jesus’ early followers wrap themselves in the safety of rules and regulations that are created to keep themselves and others in line. How do we turn away those who long to hear the Good News that kingdom-builders are meant to deliver?

Some of Jesus’ first adherents see the Mystical Body as a club or community organization to be tightly controlled. How do we allow the Spirit to move in and through us so that we might bring the freedom and joy of the kingdom to others?

Some of Jesus’ initial disciples worried over the details of God’s plan, believing themselves responsible for correcting all they believe is wrong with the world. How do we stifle the Spirit, misrepresent Jesus, and ignore God as we seek to be builders with Christ?

Who am I to be able to hinder God? 

As we reflect on our interior and outer laws, how and why we follow them, and how or if they match the Law of Love established by God through Jesus . . . let us allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit as we honestly answer the question Peter poses . . . Who are we to be able to hinder God?


For a deeper understanding of Circumcision of the Heart, click on the image above or go to: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/v01-n06/circumcision

Read Full Post »


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

rose[1]Sirach 39:13-16a

Opening Our Petals

Listen, my faithful children: open up your petals, like roses planted near running waters . . .

Much like plants that flower and bloom, each of us has our own needs for sun and shade, heat and coolness. Some of us struggle upward, reaching for the nurturing light, fending off the weeds that threaten to choke us out. Some of us tussle with thistles or look for places to put down roots in the hardened ground of the well-traveled path. Others are blessed to find themselves in rich, well-plowed soil. No matter our place or time, we rejoice when we live in days of abundant water, we wait in patience through days of dryness, and always we give thanks as we open our petals to God’s loving kindness.

Send up the sweet odor of incense, break forth in blossoms like the lily. Send up the sweet odor of your hymn of praise; bless the Lord for all he has done.

In Psalm 119, God has sent us a loving letter of welcome, of initiation in Christ’s Law of Love, of consolation in the Spirit. How do we respond to God’s offer of peace and kindness?

Proclaim the greatness of God’s name, loudly sing God’s praises, with music on the harp and all stringed instruments; sing out with joy as you proclaim: the works of God are all of them good.

As we move through our work and play over the next hours, let us compose a list of gifts for which we thank God. Let us put down strong roots into God’s word.  And let us open our petals to God’s light so that we might give praise and thanks for the good that comes to us each day.

Tomorrow, a prayer to give thanks for all of God’s works.


Image from: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/italian-roses-bloom-under-rooftop-solar-thermal/

Read Full Post »


Monday, February 15, 2021

rock[1]Jeremiah 31:33

God’s Love Letter Part III

I will place my law within them, and write upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.

We have the choice to move into union with God or to remain apart. God unfailingly offers an open, standing invitation to become one with all of creation. God asks that we allow our hearts of stone to bear fruit in God’s time and plan.

God says: I tell you endlessly how much I love you and yet you allow your fear to take you over. I tell you constantly that I will never leave you and yet you doubt. I tell you honestly that I forgive you and yet you hesitate. In every moment of your existence I am with you. This is my promise. This is my message. This is your portion as my most beloved one. This is my letter of love to you. 

imagesCABFE3IBSaint Paul reminds the Corinthians and he reminds us that because Christ lives in each one of us we have the power to bring God’s love to the world: You show that you are Christ’s letter, delivered by us. You weren’t written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. You weren’t written on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)

As we reflect on God’s letter to us, let us offer our hearts of stone to God so that they might become hearts that bear fruit.  And let us also consider how we might act in response to God’s Call to Love.


Images from: http://interiordesignideas-albert.blogspot.com/2009/11/top-picks-haute-heart-shapes-in-nature.html and http://girltomom.com/page/53

Read Full Post »


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Nature_heart_by_beyond__my__dreams[1]Psalm 119

A Love Letter – Part II

God comes to us through old words in new times to assure, to counsel and to transform. Let us reflect on the wisdom, blessing and consolation of God’s message of love to each of us.

Kaph: The Power to Actualize Potential – We are constantly called to fulfill the potential God plants in us at our inception.  Lamedh: Aspiration, Contemplation of the Heart – We contemplate the goodness of God’s own heart. Mem: Fountain of Wisdom – We rely on God’s wisdom as source and foundation of understanding, counsel and guidance. Nun: The Messiah – Jesus comes to serve as light in an unforgiving darkness and we are called to bring that same light to a world that waits and watches. Samekh: The Endless Cycle – Christ is beginning and end, Alpha and Omega, source and summit for all.  We are called by the Spirit to join in all of creation’s response to God’s call.

Ayin: God’s Providence – We are always in God’s hands. Pe: Communication, Revelation of God’s Word – God is constantly revealing the Word to us. Sadhe: Faith – God’s fidelity saves us. Qoph: Redemption of Fallen Sparks – God’s love redeems us. Resh: Clarity – God’s grace and mercy are present to us. Shin:  The Eternal Flame – God’s Law of Love is infinite and all-encompassing. Taw: The Seal of Creation – Through our creation God marks us forever with the mark of Love.

Let us be open to God’s invitation to include us in creation, and let us give thanks for a love that is so great that we are forgiven, so encompassing that all are included, and so generous enough that we are loved. Tomorrow, Part III of God’s Letter to us.


Image from: http://beyond–my–dreams.deviantart.com/art/Natural-heart-78274140

Read Full Post »


Saturday, February 13, 2021

untitledPsalm 119

God’s Love Letter – Part I

God inspires the psalmist to record on an ancient scroll the words we long to hear and these words continue to resonate with us today.  Let us reflect on the beauty, grace and peace of God’s message of love to each of us.

Aleph: The Paradox of God and Humans – God calls humans into creation and we are free to respond.  Beth: God’s Dwelling Place Below – Mary serves as the ark for God’s New Covenant as she brings Jesus into the world. Gimel: Reward and Punishment- Just as there is duality between these concepts there is a duality in how we might view God’ Law.  Daleth: Selflessness – God invites us to take part in creation by living out the Law in loving our enemies rather than in revenge and violence against them. He: Thought, Speech and Action – We begin to see how we might answer God’s call.

Waw: Connection – Even if we try to deny our connection with God it exists; even if we turn our back on God, God continues to dwell within. Zayin: Woman of Valor – God enters the human race in the person of Jesus, relying on Mary, a woman of valor.  Heth: The Life Value of Run and Return – We sometimes fail to recognize God in the marginalized who live at the edges of society and yet Jesus lives his entire life with the disenfranchised. Teth: Inversion, the Concealed Good – God’s plan is one of ideas and lives turned on their heads. Yodh: The Infinite Good – We are invited to share God’s infinite goodness.

Use the scripture link to choose a different version of Psalm 119 and read the opening strophes with different eyes. Reflect on the gift of God’s love. Treasure God’s presence in each moment of our existence. 

Tomorrow, Part II of God’s Letter to us.


Image from: http://pictures.4ever.eu/love/hearts/heart-181117

Read Full Post »


Friday, February 12, 2021

Psalm 119

In a world that still struggles with so many assaults on love, God continues to abide with us to remind us that God’s love alone will bridge all gaps and heal all wounds. The skeptics among us scoff as they ask how the faithful believe that God is with us when anger and fear stalk the world. The defeated among us cry out to ask how long the faithful will carry the onerous weight of the war and pestilence that takes its dreadful toll. The remnant among us find joy and sing praise as they give their share of the world’s burden to a loving, generous God who converts all harm to good.

We spend time reflecting on the last chapters of this song of God’s love to creation.

Qoph: Redemption of Fallen Sparks – God’s love redeems us although we may not trust it.

Resh: Clarity – God’s grace and mercy are present to us although we may not see it.

Shin: The Eternal Flame – God’s Law of Love is infinite and all-encompassing although we may not count it.

Taw: The Seal of Creation – God’s creation marks us with the sign of love although we may not sense it. It is through this creation that God marks us forever with the mark of Love.

Tomorrow, God’s Love Letter.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: