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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s love’


Ephesians 4: Seek Ripening

Friday, December 1, 2017

Richard Rohr, OFM explains that we learn wisdom and have no need to judge others when we allow ourselves to ripen in God’s image, to mature in Christ’s love, to grow in the Spirit’s patience and perseverance.

“If we are to speak of a spirituality of ripening, we need to recognize that it is always characterized by an increasing tolerance for ambiguity, a growing sense of subtlety, an ever-larger ability to include and allow, and a capacity to live with contradictions and even to love them!” (Rohr 346)

Paul tells the Ephesians, and he tells us: And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. (GNT)

God says: You have no need to judge one another. You have no need to point out specks on the eyes of others. You have no need to strain gnats before drinking from the cup I offer you. Do you see yourself swallowing camels or does the log in your eye keep you from discerning your own image? How do you represent me in the world? How do you act as my hands and feet, lips and eyes, heart and mind? My Spirit lives in you to bring you wisdom and patience. My Son lives in you to bring courage and persistence. I live in you to bring you strength and maturity.When you welcome ripening, you will suffer loss but this loss is a gain when you allow me to suffer with you. When you welcome maturity, your desire to protect yourself or to win at all costs will disappear because when you fully welcome me you will learn that with me a loss is a gain and a gain is a loss. When you ripen in me, you never grow old. When you mature in me, you never fear the woes of the world. When you grow in me, there is no limit to your patience and love. Come to me when you worry about gnats and camels, specks and beams, rights and wrongs. Come to me, and you will have need of nothing more, for my love alone is enough.

Today we God offers us an opportunity to seek growth, wisdom and maturity. God calls us to ripen in the Spirit, and to come to full season in Christ.

We turn to Luke 6:37-42 and Matthew 23 to remind ourselves of Christ’s warning against judging others.

Enter the words spiritual maturity into the blog search bar to explore other reflections on how we might grow in Christ.

Click on the spiritual path image for a Huffington Post blog post on signs of spiritual maturity. 

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

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Romans 8:35-39: Nothing

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What can cut us off from the love of Christ?  Hardships, crises, distress, lack of food or clothes, threats or violence?  No, we move through all of these things by the power of the Christ.  For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God . . . God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This version of verses from Romans appears in today’s Noonday prayer in THE DIVINE HOURS: PRAYERS FOR SUMMERTIME by Phyllis Tickle.  It reminds us that in times of trouble there is nothing more we need say or think. There is nothing more we need do but attempt to live a life that communicates this belief to others.  At times, this Love of Christ is lived in our compassion as we abide with a loved one who is in pain.  At other times, it is lived in our witness to injustice.  At still other times, it is demonstrated when we must rebuke or step away from a situation or relationship.  Always it is experienced by our enemies when we intercede for them in Jesus’ name.

This Love of Christ is complex yet simple.  It is difficult for us to walk away from our inherited and learned behaviors that lead us away from Christ.  It is simple to put all anxieties aside and take on the new robe of Christ that empowers us to follow the new law, the Law of Love.

When we are in doubt, we can always turn to scripture, to the Christ-Written-as Story-for-Us.  When we open scripture, lines of The Story leap out at us and always these lines show us the way we must take, The Way, The Love of Christ.  Nothing must keep us from this Love.

Tickle, Phyllis.  THE DIVINE HOURS: PRAYERS FOR SUMMERTIME. New York: Doubleday, 2000. Print.

A Favorite from August 20, 2008.

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John 13:31-35: Loving Judas

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Caravaggio: The Taking of Jesus Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss

Caravaggio: The Taking of Jesus
Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss

We have reflected on seeking, finding and recognizing Jesus. We have thought about Jesus as God’s Word in human form among us.  We have explored what God must mean when coming to live with us and one of us and we have been incredulous as we see how God, through Jesus, converts the impossible to the possible. Perhaps we remain incredulous. Today we see Jesus act in a most challenging way . . .

When Judas had left them, Jesus said . . .

We cannot escape betrayal, abandonment, deception or chaos. These disruptive forces must be seen for what they are. When in doubt we might follow Jesus, the one who knows both pain and joy, corruption and peace.

Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I’m telling you: Where I go, you are not able to come.

Jesus does not stop Judas from reporting his whereabouts to the authorities. Instead, he prepares those who love him. When confronted with our own Judas, we might follow Jesus, the one who knows both sorrow and rejoicing, evil and mercy.

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.

Jesus does not stop us from doing evil. Rather, he calls us to his side, to accompany him as a child follows a loving parent. When lost in our world of ego and self-orientation, we might follow Jesus, the one who knows both cruelty and kindness, hate and love.

When we suffer at the hands of Judas, let us remember to follow Jesus in love.

Compare differing versions of these verses today, and allow God’s Word to bring reconciliation so that we might better love the Judas in our lives. Or enter the words Judas or betrayal into the blog search bar and explore. 

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2 Corinthians 2:14-3: The Mystery of Covenant Contract_with-_Seal_XL

Friday, June 26, 2015

Christ comes into the world not to abolish the old covenant but to fulfill it. Christ comes into the world not to erase the old agreement but to bring it to fruition. Christ comes into the world not to punish us for wrongdoing but to heal and comfort, pardon and redeem.

Paul tells the people of Corinth and he tells us that there is a contrast between the old and new covenants. And he tells us that we must caution ourselves against a smug pride in our credentials that may – or may not – match our life in the Gospel. Do we claim to be followers of Christ through our words or through our actions? Paul questions us today.

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you?

Paul also tells us that it will be our work in the world that defines us as disciples of Christ – or that shows us to be followers of false gods and idols. We find Christ’s true presence, and our “letter of recommendation,” in the fruit of our labor. What fruits do our labors bear? Paul asks us today.

You are our letter, written on our hearts . . .

Christ’s peace is eternal and universal.

You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all . . .

Christ’s letter of recommendation is our covenant of love.

You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all, shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us . . .

Christ’s covenant with God’s people lives in and through us.

You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all, shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us, written not in ink, but by the spirit of the living God . . .

love_of_god1Christ’s covenant of love is permanent and impermeable.

You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all, shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us, written not in ink, but by the spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but in tablets that are the hearts of flesh.

Christ’s covenant is a mystery written on our hearts, never to be extinguished, always to be cherished, always to be trusted, always is gift.

To better understand the concept of covenant as used in the Old Testament, click on the contract image above, or visit: http://www.setapartpeople.com/introduction-covenants-part-1

To understand the covenant written on the human heart that Paul describes, click on the heart in scripture image above or go to: http://heavenlychristianforums.com/threads/a-love-letter.294/ 

Tomorrow, moving from the old to the new covenant. 

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012 – Colossians 1 – Mystery

Alpha and Omega

Christ is both creator and saver, Alpha and Omega, lion and lamb.  Christ brings hope and optimism to a world sadly needing it.  Christ is the full and perfect revelation of God’s self to us, his created.  Christ brings to his followers – no matter their circumstances – the wisdom of the creator.  Christ brings newness and perfection to the human race – he brings full maturity, a true knowing of self.  The Church – which we comprise – is not merely a large number of people who believe the same thing – who hold a story in common.  The Church is a spiritual reality – a mysterious community made dynamic with the sap that is Christ.  The Church becomes one with and in Christ.  Christ is the center of the universe.  Christ is universal.  Christ is mystery.  We are mystery.  (Thoughts from the introduction to “Carta a los Colosenses” from page 1787 of BIBLIA DE AMÉRICA.)

We do not complete Christ.  Christ completes us.  And this is the mystery to me . . . that despite our faults and our wanderings, Christ persists in his love for us.  He remains always open to possibility in us, to newness in us.  Christ hopes in and for us.  This always was, it is, it always will be.  In all the mystery of life . . . we can be certain of this one thing . . . Christ is.  And that alone is enough.  This, too, is mystery. 

LA BIBLIA DE LA AMÉRICA. 8th. Madrid: La Casa de la Biblia, 1994. Print.

Written on October 28, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

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