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Posts Tagged ‘healing’


Matthew 13:54-14:2: Opinionsover-inflating-your-opinion

Wednesday, March 23, 2015

He did not work many mighty deeds in his native place because of their lack of faith. The opinion of those who knew Jesus as a child blocks his neighbors from seeing what is so plainly true.

Paul tells the Corinthians and he tells us that the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25) What, then, does human opinion matter if we do not move and live in God?

Paul tells the Ephesians and he tells us that by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is a gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:6-9) How, then, are we to believe that we can heal and restore unless we heal and restore in Christ Jesus?

Paul asks the Galatians and he asks us: Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (Galatians 3:3-5) Why, then, might we put aside the Spirit and believe that we are complete without God’s indwelling presence?

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him”.  The opinion of the one who ruled over Jesus’ native land is influenced by the power he wields and the influence he exerts on others.

Might we compare our own opinion of Jesus with that of those who knew him so well? What is our vision of wisdom, grace, faith, weakness and foolishness? How do we receive the miracle of life that awakens us each day and accompanies us to bed each night?

In our Lenten journey we pause to consider . . . whose opinions matter most to us . . . and how do these opinions influence our thoughts and deeds each day?


Image from: https://eraoftechnology.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/over-inflating-your-opinion/

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The Four Gospels: Theophilusbible-1

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

In the next days of our Lenten pilgrimage as we near the celebration of the Easter miracle, we will focus on the New Testament with its words of joy that call us to newness. Today we take time to compare varying versions of verses as we listen for the voice that speaks within. If possible, we will look for a quiet place and time in which we can look at the opening verses of each Gospel.  And we will listen for God’s wisdom, ask for God’s grace, and rest in God’s mercy.

Matthew 1 begins with: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. When we consider why Matthew was calling his largely Jewish audience to Jesus’ lineage, we may begin to understand the importance of our own heritage, the influence of our tribe and its traditions, and the opportunities for division that unity in Christ might bridge.

Mark 1 begins in this way. The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Thinking about this story that was written quite close to the resurrection event, we may begin to comprehend the fear and awe that gripped these first followers of Christ, the same fear and awe that take hold of us today, and the prospect that Christ heals all wounds when we open ourselves to his care.

Luke 1 begins in another manner: Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the vents that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word handed down to them to us, I too have decided after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received. Contemplating these words, we might also consider how our own story of our life in Christ might begin, how it might play out, and how it might conclude. We might also consider how we live out Christ’s message each day as we play and work and pray.

John 1 begins with its soaring, beautiful language that carries us on a journey we cannot forget or put aside: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Meditating on these concepts, we might allow ourselves to be called into newness, to be open to restoration and to forgive others as we are forgiven.

Today we think, we contemplate, we consider and we meditate on the story of Jesus. Let us also act in Christ’s name to heal a world that longs for peace and mercy. When we click on the scripture links we open a world of hope where before there was no possibility. We enter into a world of fidelity where before there was only betrayal. And we allow Christ to create goodness and light out of harm where before there was only darkness and evil. Let us, like Theophilus, enter into our relationship as a beloved friend of God. And let us allow God to bring us the Easter promise in a full and meaningful way so that we might realize the certainty of the teachings we have received, so that we might pass on the goodness that God has in store for each of us.


For more information on ideas for Luke’s use of the name Theophilus, visit: http://biblehub.com/topical/t/theophilus.htm

Image from: https://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/

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Wisdom 1: The Key to Lifekey of life

March 10, 2015

Love justice . . . seek the Lord with integrity of heart . . .

Perverse counsels separate a man from God . . .

The holy spirit of discipline flees deceit and withdraws from senseless counsels . . .

When injustice occurs it is rebuked . . .

God is the witness of the inmost self and the sure observer of the heart . . .

The spirit of the Lord fills the world, is all-embracing, and knows what each one says.

No one who utters wicked things can go unnoticed . . .

A jealous ear hearkens to everything . . .

Discordant grumblings are no secret . . .

Guard against profitless grumbling, and from calumny withhold your tongues . . .

A stealthy utterance does not go unpunished . . .

A lying mouth slays the soul . . .

Justice is undying.

God says: These words of wisdom are sent to you through my servant who recorded these thoughts for you centuries ago. They are ancient words yet they hold modern meaning. In this season of Lent as you anticipate the miracle of Easter, open your arms, widen your horizon, unbend your stiff neck and renew your heart. Separation from me does not occur like a thunder clap or an explosion; rather, it begins by tiny steps away from me, away from the light that breaks through all darkness and calls forth all healing. If you wish to hold the keys to life, remain in me as I remain in you. I will give you rest and mercy and peace. 

Use the scripture link to explore different versions of these verses, and allow them to reveal the wisdom of God’s words.  


Image from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79102167@N00/12687461/

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John 2:13-25: Cleansing the Temple 

El Greco: Christ Cleasning the Temple

El Greco: Christ Cleansing the Temple

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

In today’s Gospel we hear that Jesus made a whip out of cords and then used it to drive moneychangers out of a sacred place of worship. As we read Jesus’ words, we might consider how we have cluttered our hearts with sacrifices that mean little or with the bargains we hope to exact from a loving God.

Take these [doves] out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.

As we read Jesus’ words we might consider our willingness to give over the false temples we have constructed to the cleansing, healing hands of Christ.

Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.

As we read John’s words we might consider God’s great generosity and mercy.

Many began to believe in [Jesus’] name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.

As we read John’s words we might consider how we might begin to cleanse our hearts and minds, and how we might willingly offer them up for destruction.


Learn about Regina at the Women for Women site

Learn about Regina at the Women for Women site

Study El Greco’s rendering of Christ Cleansing the Temple above, then explore the sites below and determine if there is an appropriate action we might take toward removing the marketplace from our temples and releasing the captive doves.

Women for Women: http://www.womenforwomen.org/

Women in Black: http://womeninblack.org/

Read about Las madres de la Plaza de Mayo documentary at: http://www.nytimes.com/movies/movie/227561/Las-Madres-The-Mothers-of-Plaza-de-Mayo/overview

Watch the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo documentary trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jTxfPz3_rw

 

 

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Habakkuk 2:3-4: The Delayimpatienceordivineanticipationb1

First Sunday in Lent, March 6, 2022

In this Lenten season, we witness to the presence of Christ in our daily routine. In this time of introspection, we welcome the Spirit into the temple of our hearts. In this time of healing and re-making, we thank God for the gifts of grace and mercy and patience. In this time of transformation, we come to understand the essence of our Lenten delay.

If it delays, wait for it . . .

Like small children, we want all our woes and anxieties resolved within seconds of their borning; like small children we must learn that waiting in joyful anticipation brings the gift of wisdom.

It will surely come . . .

Like energetic teenagers, we easily slip into the thinking that the multiverse holds us at its center; like energetic teenagers we reluctantly admit that our way is not always God’s way.

It will not be late . . .

Like impatient adults, we ask the world to move at our singular command; like impatient adults we come to see that the common good is more valuable in God’s eyes than our individual desire.

The rash one has no integrity . . .

In our Lenten journey we come to understand – if we are open – that God is present in misery just as in joy.

But the just one, because of faith, will live . . .

In our Lenten passage we come to know – if we are open – that God’s delay is part of God’s plan.

As we move through this second full week of Lent, let us take all of our impatience and anxiety, all of our anger and frustration to the one who mends and heals all wounds. And let us – like Jesus – make a willing sacrifice of our waiting as we anticipate in joyful hope God’s fulfillment of our great delay.


Image from: http://vividlife.me/ultimate/6328/impatience-or-divine-anticipation/

Enter the word Habakkuk into the blog search bar to explore other reflections on the wisdom brought to us through the words of this prophet.

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The world watches with a kaleidoscope of emotions as we witness political upheaval in Europe. False news is used to further manipulate our thinking. As imperialism clashes with openness and inclusion, Pope Francis calls us to a day of prayer and fasting in prayer for Ukraine. When we gather our small sacrifices to offer them in hope, may we witness a quick resolution to the conflict and a renewal of peace. 

1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1ash wednesday

Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022

In a reflection last week Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M. posited the thesis that all of scripture, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation,mirrors the development of human consciousness, with its usual pattern of progression and regression”. He explains that just as in the early books of the Torah and in the narratives that follow, we humans look for a foundation of rules and regulations that govern our lives and relationships. He writes that this is “helpful for developing our first egoic identity (the container), and for most of us this represents at least the first 25 years of our life; but that is not yet a full spiritual identity (the contents). The trouble is, an awful lot of people stay at that first stage of boundary-keeping that ‘law’ and group well provide, even though it traps us inside of a black or white, dualistic consciousness. But we have to start there or we have no ego container”.

Rohr further proposes that as we mature we begin to understand “why most people are hesitant to move further, toward places where they cannot uphold themselves, or prove they are right and good”. Rohr points out that Jesus himself says “the Law actually assures a kind of certain failure so all humans have to rely entirely on God’s grace and mercy and not their own worthiness or any kind of superiority. God is actually pretty clever”.

So where does that leave us as we learn and grow in God? How might these ideas serve us as we enter the season of Lent, this season of growing in Christ? What might we do to create a dwelling place for the Spirit?

In the opening weeks of Lent we will search the Torah and narratives as we explore the materials and process we have used to construct our temple dwelling place for the Spirit. We will later move into a time when we dare to say that the Law has failed us in some way. And we will – with God’s grace – arrive at the Easter miracle with a new and open heart. If these Lenten reflections do not serve us, we might turn to the Connecting at Noon page on this blog and consider a change in our prayer life that will create a fresh place for the Spirit and allow for renewal. Or we may simply rest in God’s hands and allow the Spirit to revive any inertia and to heal any wound.

beginner's mindAs we move from one season to another, as we approach the great gift of Eastertide, we might remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians: Brothers and sisters: Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the greater glory of God. Avoid giving offense, whether to the Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me as I am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)


Read about Pope Francis’ call for prayer and fasting at: https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/pope-calls-day-prayer-fasting-peace-ukraine

Citations from Richard Rohr’s Meditation from February 12, 2015: Adapted from Scripture as Liberation: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/daily-meditations Click on the Beginner’s Mind image to explore videos that open us to renewal, or visit: http://rohr.franciscanmedia.org/user/?browse=Videos 

Image from: http://rohr.franciscanmedia.org/user/?browse=Videos

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0014 - tour negev night fire tree

Night Camp in the Negev Desert

Leviticus 13

Outside the Camp

Friday, February 18, 2022

In the Book of Leviticus we find hundreds of laws that are meant to regulate a faith-governed Jewish life. Ironically, these rules created by men to assure fidelity too often create a world that our divine creator did not intend. Just so is the admonition we read today.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his descendants. If the man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head. (13:1-2)

We might argue that this quarantine preserves the human race and that the separation is necessary. But what might we say about our obligation to tend to the needs of this isolated community?

The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp”. (44-46)

How might we see our own beliefs and actions in our daily lives when we encounter people, places and themes that we see as unclean?

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish you can make me clean”. Move with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean”. The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. (Mark 1:40-42)

As we prepare for our Lenten journey, we pause for a time today to reflect on these verses and to consider how we enact Christ’s actions in our lives. How do see those who are set apart? How do we deal with themes, places and persons segregated from our own careful societies? How do we interact with those outside our clearly delineated camp?


For further reflection, read about Fr. Damien and the U.S. National Historic Site on the Hawaiian island of Molokai and those who suffer from Hansen’s Disease at: http://visitmolokai.com/kala.html

For information on biking tours in the Negev Desert, click on the image above or visit: http://www.veredgo.com/dynamic/tours/about/Biking+through+the+Negev+Desert/ 

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ironworker4Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Joy and Malachi

Corruption

The prophets warn, threaten, exhort, and promise us that God is always present, even though we may not recognize this presence. The Old Testament prophecies foreshadow the good news of the New Testament, and they remind us that no matter our circumstance God’s joy rescues us from sure destruction, Christ’s joy redeems us from our recklessness, and the Spirit’s joy heals us despite the gravity of our wounds. Today Malachi uses the imagery of the smith who patiently and slowly smelts ore to let the dross run off. In this way we encounter joy even in the midst of deep and intense corruption.

“This work was composed by an anonymous writer shortly before Nehemiah’s arrival in Jerusalem (455 B.C.). Because of the sharp reproaches he was leveling at the priests and rulers of the people, the author probably wished to conceal his identity . . . It is likely that the author’s trenchant criticism of abuses and religious indifference in the community prepared the way for those necessary reforms”. (Senior 1170)

Malachi 3:1: “Listen: I will send my messenger before me to prepare the way. And then the One you are looking for will come suddenly to his Temple—the Messenger of God’s promises, to bring you great joy. Yes, he is surely coming,” says the Lord Almighty.

We have just closed Christmastide when we have welcomed Emmanuel, The Lord among us. In the midst of poor leadership and corruption, and despite our own indifference, God still loves and rescues us.

Malachi 3:7: Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.

We enter Ordinary Time and wait for the Easter promise to spring upon us once more. In the midst of reproaches and despite our vanity, God still heals and transforms us.

Malachi 4:1: For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them afire, leaving them neither root or branch, says the Lord of hosts. But for you who love my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.

joyThe choice lies before us: To burn with fire in our passion for The Word . . . or to dissolve into ash in the fire of our own self-importance. God is the patient silversmith who devotedly sits at the furnace smelting the ore of our life’s offerings. God keeps a watchful eye on the fire of love that refines our work, assuring run off of dross and the pureness of the ore. And it is through this fire of God’s love that we are either consumed or brought to new life. It is from the pungent ash of our past corruption that God’s joy springs forth to surprise us again.


Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 1170. Print.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar.

Image from: http://honibun.blogspot.com/2012_03_01_archive.html

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Auguste Forbin: View of Jerusalem from the Valley of Jehoshaphat

Auguste Forbin: View of Jerusalem from the Valley of Jehoshaphat

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Joy and Joel

Scourge

The prophets chronicle a people’s yearning for union with their creator and un uncanny understanding of their own vulnerabilities. Their words warn, threaten, exhort, and promise us that God is always present, even though we may not recognize this presence. The Old Testament prophecies foreshadow the good news of the New Testament, and they remind us that no matter our circumstance God’s joy rescues us from sure destruction, Christ’s joy redeems us from our recklessness, and the Spirit’s joy heals us despite the gravity of our wounds.  Today Joel shows us an image of ourselves that we want to forget as we await indictment for our actions. Joel also shows us am image we will want to remember; God invites all of us to stand among the elect.

In about the year 400 B.C.E. “a terrible invasion of locusts ravaged Judah. So frightful was the scourge that the prophet visualized it as a symbol of the coming day of the Lord . . . The concluding poem pictures the nations gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, where the Lord is about to pass judgment. Israel’s enemies are summoned to hear the indictment; their evil deeds are at last requited. The tumultuous throng assembled in the valley of decision is made up of the enemies of God and they face inevitable destruction. The oracle changes abruptly from the terrifying image of judgment to a vision of Israel restored and forever secure from her enemies. God is both the vindicator of his people and the source of their blessing”. (Senior 1121)

joyNot only has sustenance been cut off from the people, but joy in living as well. If we have never found ourselves in our own valley of impending destruction, it is likely that we know and love someone who has. Joel’s prophecy brings us to the understanding that even in our fear of looming indictment, God always provides a road to repentance, transformation and restoration.

Joel 1:16: Has not food been cut off before our eyes, gladness and joy from the house of our God?

As we consider the valley of Jehoshaphat with its tumultuous crowd of those awaiting indictment for having caused the great scourge, let us also consider how God also offers us the opportunity to heal ourselves and the broken world we have fashioned from God’s creation. Let us remember that Jesus includes even the outsider Gentiles in the elect. And let us open our own minds and hearts to the understanding that the Spirit converts the great scourge to healing joy as she calls all to unity in and through Christ.
To consider the concept of rewilding the world, read the transcript of an interview with George Monbiot or listen to the podcast at one of these links:

http://www.ted.com/talks/george_monbiot_for_more_wonder_rewild_the_world?language=en

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015-01-02/environmental_outlook_george_monbiot_feral_rebroadcast


Delve into Monbiot’s thinking and science as described in his book: Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life, and consider the joy of God’s creation.

FeralVisit Monbiot’s site at: http://www.monbiot.com/

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.1121. Print.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar. You may want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

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