Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stilling the storm within...

"(Jesus) got into the boat with them and the wind died down."
Mark 6:51
There are so many aspects of this Gospel today (Mark 6:45-52) worthy of discussing, but this one sentence jumped off the page at me.  First, Jesus finished up with the five thousand, then he sends the apostles off in the boat and he goes to the mountain to pray alone. Then, the wind picks up and the apostles are tossed around the lake on the boat. Then, Jesus walks on the water toward them but he intends to go past them (?) They are terrified and Jesus reassures them, "It is I, do not be afraid: (v. 50). And, finally, Jesus climbs into the boat and the wind calms down. Phew! Epic Gospel! Like I said: much to discuss.  But, what I love today is that Jesus in our boat will calm the storm.  Inviting Jesus into our daily lives will calm the storm within us.  The storm may still seem to be there, but inside, we are calm because we have Jesus and he reassures, "It is I, do not be afraid."  This simple truth has played out so often in my own life that I can't count the times.  And the important part for me is the calming of the storm within.  The wind may still be howling, but, deep within, Jesus and I are calm.  It's incredible to think about!  I am on my way to Spiritual Direction School today, Friends!  Blessings on the rest of your week and weekend!  See you, heidi

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bread, cup, hope...

 "Make us bread for all who are hungry
And a cup for people who thirst,
Make us hope for those on a journey,
Where the last one shall be the first."
Fr. Caleb Vogel, "Panem Tuum"
We sang this at our friend, Keener's, funeral last weekend and, as we did, I saw how clearly Keener personified the words.  Keener was "bread for all who are hungry" through his work at the Soup Kitchen.  I giggled when I realized that his "cup for people who thirst" was his consummate hospitality--you are never without a drink in the K's home!  And Keener's "hope for those on a journey" was his work with Hospice of Eastern Idaho.  Keener gave hope to many as he journeyed with them their final weeks and months.  This song could have been written as a tribute to Keener, surely. But, I see it as also a beckoning to us.  We are called to be bread for the hungry, a cup for the thirsty and  hope for those we meet each day. In today's Gospel (Mark 6:34-44) Jesus feeds the five thousand--gives bread for the hungry.  How are we called in our lives, today, to love the same way?  Each person we meet today--family, friend or stranger--needs us in some way.  How can we love them well? Love, heidi

Monday, January 5, 2015

Re-think! The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!

"From that time on, Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
Matthew 4:22
The Little Blue Book says that the word, 'repent' also means "re-think." It doesn't so much mean show sorrow for one action, but it is broader, more like "re-think" the way you do everything...change the way you live. To add emphasis to this, in this Gospel we are told that Jesus leaves Nazareth and moves to Capernaum.  He changes his life's work, too, going from carpenter to healer, preacher, proclaimer of God's Kingdom.  Jesus seems to always practice what he preaches!  So what does that mean for us, as we return to real life after the holidays? What if we cannot change our town or career as Jesus did? We can change in other ways--such as being more positive, if we tend to be negative.  Or maybe we can change and be more patient with co-workers or kinder to strangers we meet throughout our day? Maybe we need to re-think and be more enthusiastic and appreciative of our work? However we may need to re-think our life, this early January Monday, let's do it!  Love, heidi