"For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me..."
I was thinking about this today and it dawned on me. Jesus will certainly work through us in matters of faith; such as our sharing our faith with others. But, what I notice every single day, is that Jesus works through me in other endeavors as well. I was standing on the front porch of a new referral just yesterday, praying that Jesus will help me help her. I'm not evangelizing on my job, per se, but Jesus is still there, putting words in my mouth, handing me low vision aids to try, putting ideas and suggestions into my head. I couldn't do my job without what Christ has accomplished through me. Let's think about our lives this weekend and try to realize all the ways that Christ works through us. I bet we can't count that high! Blessings on your autumn weekend! Love, heidi
"Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another..."
The human need for reciprocity is an interesting thing. I was thinking about it in light of this reading this morning. We feel so much more comfortable returning a favor, paying for a service, reciprocating for an invitation. But Jesus and here, St. Paul, turn all that on its ear. Jesus tells us to invite those who cannot invite us back. St. Paul says that we should reciprocate others with love. That is enough. Think about how difficult it is to love everyone and realize that can be a job in itself. When we serve others with love we find that we are the ones gifted in the end. And how do we serve each other in love? By speaking well of each other--no gossip or complaining about each other! By sharing what we have with each other--do you have things you are no longer using, wearing? By treating each other with kindness, patience, and with a smile! Let our love be freely given in abundance today, with strangers and friends. Let love be the currency we exchange this autumn Wednesday! Love, heidi
"Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them..."
Fr. Caleb taught us so many wonderful things while he was in Idaho Falls, but he was especially great at teaching us about using our gifts. That was one of his gifts, and he used it beautifully! I remember him saying that the best way for us to praise God for the gifts we are given is to use them--often--and give God the glory. So simple, and yet, true. I also remember the homily about the ice cream...it bears paraphrasing here. Fr. Caleb was given a container of fancy ice cream from someone and, since he wasn't hungry for ice cream right then, he stashed it in the freezer. Many months later, he rummaged through the freezer, found the ice cream and decided to have some. One bite was all he needed to realize it was freezer-burned and tasted awful! Non-use of the gift rendered it un-usable. Wow, that! St. Paul tells us that we all are gifted in many different ways. We need to recognize our gifts, pull them out of the freezer and use them! And, by all means, give God the glory! Love, heidi
"Jesus doesn't wait for Zacchaeus to repent before he offers to dine at his house. Love people *now* not just after they repent."
Fr. James Martin, SJ, via Twitter
Come to think of it, the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son didn't wait for the wayward son to apologize before he welcomed him back, either. The son apologized AFTER his father ran down the road to meet him and embraced him. Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus' house BEFORE Zacchaeus said he would repay those he had cheated and give half of his money to the poor. In both cases, the repentance came after the encounter with God. God doesn't wait for us to come to our senses and repent. God loves us into repentance and then rejoices when we come back. In yesterday's first reading from Wisdom, "You overlook people's sins that they may repent." (Wisdom 11:23) which further seems to say that God makes the first move in our repentance. Isn't that fascinating? I love the fact that Jesus called Zacchaeus down from the tree to invite himself to dinner! I love the fact that Jesus calls all of us to join him, long before we are worthy of the call. Are we ever worthy of the call? Nevertheless, we are called! Love, heidi