Friday, February 17, 2012

Give life to our love...

"For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."
James 2:26

As many times as I have heard and read this scripture, it seemed I read it with new eyes this morning. The argument seems strange to me because Jesus' very own words to us throughout the gospels indicate that we can't just sit around idle. Our love for God must manifest itself in our works. Our love for God must have hands and feet and voice. We must DO our love; not to prove it as such, but to give our love life. And God helps us with that constantly. As followers of Christ, God reaches in and actually shapes our desires. We don't just grudgingly go through the motions of doing God's work, but we want to. God puts that desire deep into our hearts. There is a pull towards doing God's will, especially if we find ways to think about and celebrate God in our work-a-day lives. Our spirits need to dance our love for God. And our actions must follow. Blessings on your weekend! Love, heidi

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

20/20 vision...

"He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village."
Mark 8:23

There are so many wonderful metaphors in this whole gospel, but this one is my favorite. After taking the man out of the village, Jesus heals this blind man in stages, putting spittle on his eyes and asking him, "Do you see anything?" (It reminds me of my job, trying various low vision aids with a client and asking, "So, how is that?") "The Word Among Us" offers many good explanations, such as Jesus healing us in stages, too. Or our vocations, seemingly murky at first, gradually come into focus as we continue to be healed by Jesus, but it may not be crystal-clear all at once. But the metaphor I like best is Jesus taking the man by the hand and leading him where he wanted him to go. Jesus knows I need that kind of attention to get me to do what I should do! Jesus keeps working on the man until his vision is clear, he doesn't ever give up and say, "That should be good enough to read the headlines!" He stays with the man until the vision is clear and after that, he tells the man EXACTLY what to do. Yep, that is what I need! Love, heidi

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love, love, love...

"All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..."
James 1:17

Today, as we celebrate the feast of love, let us keep in mind who gave us love in the first place! We could not love without having been loved into existence by God. Every good in our lives is a gift from the origin of love, the founder of love, and love itself...God. This holiday may be about hearts and flowers, chocolate and kisses, but underlying it all is Our God, who loves us without measure...and that is hard for us to comprehend! Today, and every day, let Love rule our hearts and let us remember that every perfect gift is from above. Love (and I mean that!) heidi

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is our leprosy?

"A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, 'If you wish, you can make me clean.'"
Mark 1:40

This was yesterday's gospel, but our homily asked such a compelling question, I'm still thinking about it today. The question was, "What is our leprosy today?" I took it to mean what do we shun or run from or 'tsk, tsk' when we we see it? What is "unclean" to us, as the lepers used to have to shout to others as they approached? What do we separate ourselves from? Community is so critical to our well-being, isn't it? A sense of belonging and feeling a part of a group are important. That is the enticement of gangs and why solitary confinement is such punishment. We need a sense of belonging and acceptance. The lepers of the Jesus' day were set apart and cut off from society completely and Jesus gave this leper the healing he needed to come back to his community. So the question...what is our leprosy? What separates us from others and keeps us on the fringe? What keeps us from accepting others? What keeps us gossiping about others and making harsh judgments of others? Whatever our leprosy is, Jesus can heal us. Love, heidi