"They were astounded and said, 'Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter's son?'"
The people in Jesus' hometown rejected him when he came back to Nazareth. They are guilty of what so many of us are also guilty of: putting God in a box. They knew Jesus when he was a lad and they have confined him to who he was, then. Who Jesus is now is someone who has already made a name for himself in the surrounding area--preaching, teaching and healing the sick, but no matter. They confined Jesus to who he was and cannot seem to get past that. We do that all the time with other people as well as God. We may feel jealous when someone we know rises above who they used to be and becomes someone better. We also seem to feel we have God all figured out. "God wouldn't do or say that!" When, actually, our God is a God of surprises. God is the same yesterday, today and always, and yet, God continues to astound and amaze us, even now. We will never have God figured out, and thanks be to God for that! Today begins August, which seems astounding in itself. Let's enjoy this new day in this new month and spend some quiet time with God this weekend. God may just astound us! Love, heidi
"Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. All is Yours, dispose of it wholly according to Your will. Give me Your love and Your grace, for this is sufficient for me."
St. Ignatius Loyola
Today, in honor of the feast of St. Ignatius, let's print, save and pray this beautiful prayer. I sure have become more aware of the Jesuits during this past year, with Pope Francis as the first Jesuit pope! Beginning with St. Ignatius, the Jesuits have given us rich and wonderful ways to grow closer to God. I invite you to visit www.jesuit.org and access resources, such as The Spiritual Exercises and the Daily Examen. These are fabulous tools we can use in our journey with God. May God continue to bless the Jesuits! Love, heidi
"Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.'"
Wow, just when I think I have heard a scripture passage so often it holds nothing new, I had a new thought about this one today! There were two Gospel readings on our Saint of the Day, St. Martha, and I was more inclined to use John 11:19-27, the one where Martha is meeting Jesus on the road to her house, just days after Lazarus has died. Martha comes off a little better in that reading, as one of the few people at the time who really "got" Jesus. "I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world." (v. 27) Whoa! Not even the apostles had come to THAT realization at that point! And yet, here is Martha, proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, even before Lazarus comes walking out of the tomb. But I noticed something, in Luke's Gospel, about the way Martha complains to Jesus about her sister that made me smile. Martha feels so comfortable with Jesus that she speaks with him like he is real friend, companion, loved one. She doesn't tip toe around him like he is royalty or some exalted one. She speaks to him as a friend...complains to him, whines to him. I sometimes speak to Jesus that way too. Because we're friends, companions, beloved of each other. Let's think about that today...can we speak to Jesus that way? Love, heidi
"Jesus said to his disciples:
'The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.'"
We had a good homily about this buried treasure, that is, the Kingdom of heaven. We learned that the treasure is indeed hidden in plain sight, available to those willing to pay attention and look for it. We were asked to ponder what treasure we wish to find and sell all we have to obtain. I feel like the treasure I'm seeking is the life of a Spiritual Director: a person with a spiritual vocation whose whole life is focused on God and helping others in their walk with God. At this point, I feel I have found the treasure and am in the process of selling all I have to purchase the field! I feel called to live a very simple life, yet a very charitable one. That is the "selling all I have" part. The classes I'm taking, the books I'm reading and the time spent in solitude and prayer are all the process of me "buying the field," as it were. But it all isn't just about the end result! It is about the journey. The process toward owning the treasure is, in itself, "treasurely." In working toward something--the finding, the digging, the selling, the studying, the learning--all are treasures to me. I urge you to spend some time thinking and praying about the treasures in your life--hidden in plain view. What do they teach you? Love, heidi