"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Thomas is one of those fellows who says out loud what the rest of us may be thinking but don't have the guts to say. What the other apostles were telling him--that Jesus was alive and walking around--was a tall tale. I, for one, don't blame him for being a skeptic because I can be one too. But Jesus, as with Thomas, showed himself to me, invited me to come sit with him, calmed my fears, and revealed himself to me in the breaking of bread. I cannot count myself among those who believe though they have not seen. I have seen. And I do believe. And, Lord, please help my unbelief!
Blessings and prayers for your 4th of July weekend, Friends! Love, heidi
"When Jesus came to the territory of Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him."
When I came to this chapter in "Jesus: A Pilgrimage," I sat and wrote about several points Fr. James Martin brought to mind. First, I wrote about the "demons" in me that I would like Jesus to heal. What failings are keeping me in the tombs of my own making? That was a humbling exercise, let me tell ya! But naming them meant put them out there, giving them to Jesus to heal. I also wrote about the end of this Gospel, in Mark's version (Mark 5:1-20) when the man healed of the demons asked Jesus if he could come along with him and his disciples (v. 18) Jesus tells him no...to go back to his family and friends and tell what God has done for him. This seems to be the answer to my vocation quandary, too. As much as I think I would like a vocation as a religious, I am to stay among family and friends and tell what God has done for me. Just as the healed former demoniac, I am asked to spread the word of God's miracles in my life to those around me. My vocation is here, living the charism of the Sisters of Charity, in my own backyard....well, and front yard, too! Love, heidi
"Their awakening him was a sign of their lack of right understanding of who he was. They knew his power to rebuke when he was awake, but his power to rebuke when asleep they had not yet grasped."
St. John Chrysostom, "Give Us This Day"
Whoa! This is amazing to ponder! I guess I always feel the need to awaken the sleeping Jesus in my boat when the storm comes. You mean I don't? I guess, not only do I feel a need to awaken Jesus, but then I need to tell him all about the storm and even make suggestions for how to calm it. St. John tells us here that Jesus can calm the storms in our lives in his sleep. In his sleep! That is going to take some time to sink in, Friends. It kind of points to the fact that God is constantly helping us, even though we may not feel God's presence. But I, personally, feel more comforted and secure when I feel the presence of Jesus in the storm--awake. This was such an interesting twist to the Gospel of Jesus calming the storm, I really need to spend some time praying with it. How about you? Love, heidi
"He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, 'Get up quickly,' The chains fell from his wrists."
This was our first reading yesterday and we listened to a very good homily about change and not giving up on ourselves. Yesterday was the feast of Saints Peter and Paul (Peter always being noted first!) Both Peter and Paul were ordinary men. Both of them had their good points and bad points, but both allowed God to change them, and that is why they are the pillars of the faith. Peter was impulsive and hasty and he fled when the going got tough...he denied Jesus three times. But, he didn't despair in his own failings. He could easily have gone the road of Judas and given up, but he did not. He allowed God to change him and mold him into The Rock, someone who could work for God. Paul was a persecutor of the early church, but he didn't despair in his deplorable early actions either. He allowed God to change him and admitted his errors, heading off in the opposite direction--to make more followers of Christ instead of persecuting them. Both Peter and Paul allowed God to change them. Can we spend some time praying that we, too, can be as pliable? Can we allow God to change us so we can work more efficiently for God? I hereby give you free reign to change me, O God! I know I can serve you so much better if I get myself out of the way! Love, heidi