Friday, September 6, 2013

A Prayer for Peace

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."
John 14:27

In solidarity with the request of Pope Francis, let us all honor Saturday, September 7, as a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria.  However you choose to fast or however you choose to pray, please join with Christians and those of many other faiths around the world, joining together as one voice for peace in this troubled land.

O Jesus, O Peaceful One,
The people of Syria may seem a half a world away from us, but they are our brothers and sisters. Their suffering saddens us deeply and we feel helpless to do anything to help them. But, you have given us the gifts of faith and prayer and these gifts can move mountains. We lift up the suffering people of Syria to your tender care. We ask for compassion and forgiveness for all the people of the region—leaders and followers alike. We ask for peaceful intervention, not more violence, which leads to only more suffering. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who once called this land his home. Amen.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Row on out...

"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."
Luke 5:4
In today's Gospel, Jesus tells Peter to row out into deep water and try again, basically.  Peter had been fishing all night and had caught nothing.  Jesus asks him to give it another go and Peter, though voicing his doubts, does what Jesus asks.  And Peter witnesses a miracle.  Back in 1946, a Sister of Loreto, a teacher in India, was riding on a train when she heard Jesus beckon her to do something too.  And, even though it meant leaving what she had been doing--which was good and holy work--she answered this new call and founded her own order of Sisters. The nun was Mother Teresa and the new order was the Missionaries of Charity.  The situations were so similar when I read them this morning.  Peter must have shook his head at the idea of throwing out the nets again, but he did it.  Mother Teresa faced many obstacles in her work, but she did it...she answered the "call within a call" she had heard on that train in 1946.  It makes me wonder how often we answer the beckoning of Jesus in our lives.  When I think back, I realize how "called" I was to work in the blind rehabilitation field.  It was such a powerful desire I chased it down fairly relentlessly.  I also felt called to the vocation of marriage and motherhood.  And, now I feel very called to spiritual work and spiritual endeavors. I feel called to draw closer to God than I ever thought possible.  Let's spend some time this short-week Thursday pondering the calls we have received, and are still receiving, from Jesus, in our lives.  Are we answering them?  Are we casting out our nets into deep water?  Are we ready for the miracle?  Love, heidi

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The show or the Real Jesus?

"The crowds went looking for (Jesus), and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them."
Luke 4:42
Who can blame them? Jesus had been casting out demons, healing people and had captivated the crowd! But was it the show or did the crowds really want Jesus? An interesting show can draw a crowd...evidence: the "Axe Women Loggers of Maine" at the Fair this week!  But were the people captivated by the show or by Jesus?  Are we captivated by the show or the Real Jesus?  The shows are isolated events, but the Real Jesus is continual.  The show has a beginning, middle and an end.  Jesus is an ongoing presence with us.  The show is for our entertainment.  The Real Jesus is for us to share with others...we cannot keep Jesus only for ourselves.  We must realize the gift of faith we have been given must be shared with all we encounter through our day.  If we do not share the Real Jesus then he was just an interesting figure who lived a long time ago.  We must share that Jesus lives now, too.  And we do that through how we treat each other.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We are annointed!

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor."
Luke 4:18
I used this portion of yesterday's Gospel for Lectio Divina yesterday.  It was such a beautiful morning I could be outside, enjoying the peaceful quiet of a holiday.  The word that jumped out at me for meditation was "anointed."  God has anointed me to this time in my life--the job I have, the people in my life, friends, family, even the strangers I encounter.  I have been anointed to be here and now, doing what I do.  Thinking that way about our lives can really help us see the Divine in our day, can't it?  To mark my anointing to my life, I used a little blessed oil, blessing my head, so I can think positive and good thoughts; my heart, so I can love like Jesus; my lips, so I will say nice things and not harsh judgments or gossipy stuff, and finally, my hands.  May the work of my hands, this day, bring help to my clients, and glory to God.  Let's think about the work of our day, Friends!  We have been anointed by God to do this work for God.  Let's do our best!  Love, heidi