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Posts Tagged ‘God’s peace’


John 14:27: The Gift of Duality

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jesus fully understands the difficulty we face as we struggle to live in two opposing worlds. As we reflected yesterday . . . We see that great love can rise out of great hatred.

Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid. (GNT)

Jesus fully understands the pain we experience as we strive to live up to the example he sets. As we reflected yesterday . . . We see that perfection can rise out of imperfection.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (NRSV)

Jesus fully understands the fog of our confusion as we work to make sense of the dichotomy of our existence. As we reflected yesterday . . . We see that divinity can rise out of humanity.

What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened. (CJB)

Jesus wants to heal our suffering, to bring us consolation, to animate hope and engender fidelity. As we reflected yesterday . . . We see that our unity with Christ comes through our willingness to accept the paradox of God’s enormous love for each of us. 

I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. (MSG)

Jesus wants to give us the gift of  his peace, the gift that is everlasting, the gift that holds us together both personally and communally, the gift that rises from knowing and accepting our duality. Let us open our hearts and minds to this greatest of gifts.

Tomorrow, duality in fire.


When we compare varying translations of these verses, we discover the gift of exploring our duality. 

Images are from: https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/peace-i-leave-with-you/ and http://fscaston.org/events/sit-in-the-heart-of-god-and-listen/heart-of-god-2-2/

For another reflection on this citation, visit the He Is In You post on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2012/08/22/he-is-in-you/

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2 Kings 6:8-33 and 7: Predictions

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A man is consulting a crystal ball to foretell the future of planet Earth. Earth image courtesy of NASA http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/

Earth image courtesy of NASA http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/

If we have found our examination of God’s uproar a bit overwhelming, we will want to look for signs of God’s peace as we did in this Favorite from May 4, 2010. When we consider Father Jarrett’s words below, we may find a channel for our own internal uproar.

So many times we wish our lives away wanting to know details about our future when all the while we really only need to remember one thing: The journey is the destination.  Just last night I had this conversation again with my granddaughter who wanted to know or predict the outcome of a particular experience in her life.  We talked about the human urge to lunge toward a final event as contrasted with savoring each step in our journey.  Instead of lurching from one episode in life to another, we might put aside our fascination with predictions; and when we harness ourselves to the present and not the past or future, we are better able to live the gift of life to its fullest, to appreciate each moment we are given.

In today’s reading we find ourselves in a story with good and evil characters whose lives intertwine in a web full of twisting and turnings.  When we change a few details we have before us a narrative we might hear on the evening news.  In reality, the human story does not change much over time.  We struggle for peace, thinking it to be something that arrives at the end of the story, and we forget that the serenity we seek is an inner state of being, a way of perceiving life, a way of taking each moment as it comes to us.

From today’s MAGNIFICAT Meditation by Father Bede Jarrett, an English Dominican famous for his preaching who died in 1934: The peace our Lord came to bring was dependent entirely upon an interior state of soul, and was wholly independent of external circumstances . . . The peace of the world was largely in its cause negative; it implied the absence, the careful removal, of every form of trouble, evil, distress; it was a peace through circumstance.  But the peace of Christ depended wholly, under the grace of God, on the attitude of the soul.  It was built upon a firm determination of the will never to be troubled or dismayed.  It was compatible with every form of suffering, with every privation, with failure in every line of life. 

peacestormThis reflection indicates that we must learn to live with suffering rather than eliminate it.  It tells us that when we cease our yearning for predictions and focus on living through the moment, we might not be so obsessed by outcomes.  We might be more peaceful, more serene.

This is something worth contemplating; it is something worth striving for.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 4.5 (2010). Print.  

Tomorrow, Pax Romana,

 

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Philippians 4:1-9: Joy and Peace

Monday, December 28, 2015

Carl Marr: Adoration of the Christ Child (detail)

Carl Marr: Adoration of the Christ Child (detail)

Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: rejoice! 

St. Paul establishes this first community in Europe on his second missionary journey sometime around the year 50 and though his subsequent travels, he reminds the Philippians that . . .

Your kindness should be known to all, the Lord is near.

He sends the Philippians advice which we might take today . . .

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

While in Philippi, he converts a wealthy business woman, his jailer and the jailer’s family . . . and he later writes to this community to remind them of what is truly important . . .

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious . . .

This letter was written while Paul was imprisoned elsewhere, perhaps Rome, Caesarea or Corinth; but wherever the prison, he continues to exhort his fellow Christ followers in Philippi to . . .

Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you.

Marr: Adoration of the Christ Child

Marr: Adoration of the Christ Child

During this Christmastide, may you all know the Joy of Christ’s Hope . . . and may you all rest in his Serene Peace . . .

Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: rejoice! 

A favorite from December 26, 2007.

 

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Acts 2: Dialog with GodChild-Praying-300x246

Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 26, 2015

In the turmoil of the world, it may be difficult to feel God’s presence; yet surely God is near.

To my words give ear, O Lord, give heed to my groaning, attend to the sound of my cries. (Psalm 5)

In the cacophony of the world, it may be difficult to hear God’s voice; yet surely God speaks.

A voice I did not know said to me: “I freed your shoulder from the burden; your hands are freed from the load. You call in distress and I saved you. (Psalm 81)

In the strife of the world, it may be difficult to believe in God’s peace; yet surely God offers us this gift.

I will hear what the Lord God had to say, a voice that speaks of peace, peace for his people and his friends and those who turn to them in their hearts. (Psalm 85)

In this time and place of the Easter miracle, it may be difficult to witness to our defender God, our redeemer Christ and our healer Spirit, and yet we must. On this fourth Sunday of Easter, let us spend time with God’s word and listen for the word of God that calls us to witness to the enormity of the Easter gift of beatitude.

Spend time today with these verses, use the scripture links to reflect with varying versions, and enter into dialog with God.

Tomorrow, Jesus’ teaching on prayer.

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faith the size of mustard seedTuesday, July 22, 2014

Mark 4:30-34

The Shade of the Kingdom

Jesus says: How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.

God says: I understand how difficult it is for you to step beyond the limits of your world but this is where I live . . . both within you to comfort you and beyond you to call you to greatness. My kingdom is greater than any dispute, wider than any war, deeper than any betrayal, and more infinite than any love. It begins as a tiny germ within you and grows to offer shelter for others. This is what I plant in you . . . an opportunity to experience the hope I have created in your heart. Come to rest in the shelter I offer against the buffets of the world . . . and in turn, offer my peace to others.

When we abide in the shadow of God’s love and respond to the seed sowed within, God gives us the power to root ourselves in God’s grace and to raise ourselves as branches so that others might nest in the shade of the kingdom.

Enter the word kingdom into the blog search bar and consider how we see the kingdom in our everyday lives.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Da Vinci: The Last Supper

Da Vinci: The Last Supper

Job 19:19

Horror

All my intimate friends hold me in horror; those whom I have loved have turned against me!

God says: This is perhaps the deepest fear that grips you: fear that your family or friends will turn against you. So many acts of terror have taken place at the hands of humans who fear the loss of intimate friends. Yet, honest and authentic friends do not abandon one another. Good and faithful friends do not threaten to cast off relationships like used clothing. Noble and dear friends do not use one another in useless games of self-preservation. The real horror in your lives is not that you are left alone . . . but that you take any action or profess any creed as you gather around standards that are your own and not mine. When you join a group or society, think about what it is that calls . . . and consider if the work you do with them builds or destroys the kingdom.

Jesus says: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)

Enter the words: Last Supper Discourses in to the blog search bar and consider the quality of God’s peace. Read more of Jesus’ Discourse by following the scripture link to John above; or use a Bible Concordance and enter the words “Do not be afraid” and determine how much God cares about our well-being, how eager God is to dispel the horror in our lives.

For some thought-provoking ideas about Jesus’ last days, click on the image above or go to: http://www.sott.net/article/259610-Shape-Shifting-Jesus-described-in-ancient-Egyptian-text

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Monday, December 17, 2012 – Philippians 4 – Cause for Joy

advent-candles[1]If we observe the lighting of an Advent wreath, we know that the third candle celebrates the coming of joy.  Yesterday was Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday.  I can remember as a child anticipating this special day with almost as much delight as Christmas – salvation is nearly upon us!  And there are precious few days between now and the day we celebrate Christ’s birth. There is very little time to prepare the way of the Lord.  So despite any turmoil or grief or chaos we might be experiencing in our lives . . . still we pause to rejoice as St. Paul writes to the Philippians as we heard read out to us today: Rejoice in the Lord always.  I shall say it again: rejoice!  Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.  Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you. 

Verses 4 through 9 of this Chapter of Paul’s letter to the faithful in Philippi form a beautiful anthem to joy.  He told the Philippians, and he tells us today, that no matter our circumstances there is cause for joy.  We have only to acknowledge that God is with us. 

God created each of us beautiful in his image; yet life can degenerate quickly and seemingly without cause.  Even in the darkest of times, there is cause for joy in that God abides and does not abandon the faithful.  Paul gives us a formula for peace and joy.

When we find ourselves amidst lies and liars, let us remain true.

When we find ourselves in difficult situations, let us remain honorable.

When we find ourselves in an unholy environment, let us remain pure.

When things around us have become ugly and dangerous, let us remain lovely.

When people around us are demeaning and cruel, let us remain gracious.

When others encourage us to get by with little, let us strive for excellence

When the world appears to embody all that is bleak, let us praise God for his abiding presence in all circumstances.

When the remnant gathers to huddle in a small ray of light that speaks to the darkness, let us persevere with the faithful. 

In doing all of this, we will find peace and have cause for joy.  And this peace and joy will be with us as they are with God. 

Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you.

To read more about the third, or pink candle on the Advent Wreath, click on the image above or go to: http://frtim.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/whats-up-with-the-pink-candle/

Written on March 5, 2010.  Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

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