"But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed."
Today we walk the long journey to Calvary with Jesus. His journey is indeed our journey and our journey, his. Along our journey we may feel condemned, persecuted. We may fall, several times along the way, just as Jesus fell beneath the weight of his cross. We may also feel the crushing weight of our crosses on our shoulders and at times we may feel too weak to continue. But that may be when we are helped along the way by seeing friends, family, even strangers who may step in and help us, just as Simon helped Jesus carry his cross. We continue to walk with Jesus and we may fall again, this is getting so hard! We may feel lonely at times, and at others, we may feel the press of a crowd; others either supporting us or not. Their presence may help or hinder, but there they are. We accompany Jesus to the top of the hill and we watch as the sky turns dark and quiet. Everything quiet but the sound of the nails. Then the last cries of One who tried so hard, loved so fully and never wavered from his mission. It is finished. But not really. Love, heidi
Thursday, April 2, 2015
"Peter said to him, 'You will never wash my feet.'"
How crazy it seems to us now--hearing Peter refuse to let Jesus wash his feet! Peter, come on, Lad! Get with the program! But, how often do we refuse the love of another? How often do we turn the other way when Jesus wants to help us? Peter was human--oh, so human. And so are we. We just have the advantage of two thousand years of history and theology. Today, let's think about the times we may turn from the love of others. Or how often we choose to go it alone and leave Jesus waiting there, towel around his waist, and say, "Not today, Jesus, I got this!" Jesus, please wash my feet! Show me your love and teach me to love others just like you love. Tonight, Jesus gives us two beautiful gifts: the Eucharist and his example of love and service to others. Let's not miss this glorious celebration! Love, heidi
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
"The great secret of monastic life, which on the surface looks like total withdrawal from human society, is that years of solitude, silence, and prayer, if they are undergone in the right spirit, lead to an expanded heart."
Paula Huston, "Simplifying the Soul"
I am still very new at the whole solitude and silence stuff, but the interesting thing about it is that it always sends me forth, back into the world, to do what I do better. It's never just about MY silence or MY solitude, it is always about what I can do better for the world after the silence ends. The first silent retreat at the Hermitage in Mesa showed me how I need to do my job better with the Commission for the Blind. It was so clear to me, after days of silence and solitude, that I need to be more aware of doing my job for and with Jesus. As I left the Hermitage and got onto the road for home, I called coworkers and promised to be a new, more willing partner in the future. As I read this today, I am so aware that my times of silence send me forth to do a better job at living for others. Ms. Huston's activity for today is to pray for strangers we may meet through our day. Everyone is going through something, as we can all assume. And our prayers may just help them on their journey. Today, as we cross paths with many others on our Holy Week Wednesday, let's pray for them and whatever they may be going through...God only knows! Love, heidi
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
"Jesus answered, 'Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.'"
Jesus is being so mysterious here and we can just sense how desperate Peter is when he says, "Master, why can I not follow you now?" (v. 37) Peter and the others had followed Jesus for three years and had given up their previous lives to do so. Now, why was Jesus saying this stuff about leaving them? We can understand Peter's angst. Do we share it? Do we desperately cling to Jesus in our work-a-day lives? Sometimes it's hard to even think about Jesus as we go about our daily routines, isn't it? This is Holy Week and yet, the rest of the world carries on business as usual. I even heard on my favorite Christian radio station, the announcer call this week "Easter Week." Not so fast, I said to the radio! We have to walk this very difficult road first. We must have Holy Week before we have Easter Week. Today, let's think throughout our day, about Jesus and Peter and the desperation of losing someone so critical in our lives...someone we love so dearly. We have the gift of knowing how the story ends, but Jesus' followers did not. Tuesday of Holy Week...let us walk with Jesus. Love, heidi
Monday, March 30, 2015
"I, the Lord, have called you...
I have grasped you by the hand..."
Whenever I have a long day of travel, like yesterday flying home from Kansas, I invite Jesus to show himself to me in the mass of humanity I encounter on such a journey. I had to wait through three flights and a four-hour airport layover to find him, but I found Jesus, just like finding Waldo! It was the very last leg, the last flight. I had spent every one of my kind words and was on my last nerve as I hunkered in the seat to catch forty winks before we landed. Very near me was a very loquacious young teenager who was full of stories...many, many stories. Her kind seatmate was a lovely young woman, maybe thirty or so, who listened patiently and kindly through the whole flight. Periodically, I wiggled to consciousness and the teenager was still talking. And the kind woman was still listening. The listener was so affirming and generous, I knew she was Jesus on that flight. After we landed, got our luggage, and the teenager left with her family, I thanked the young woman for her kindness and told her how wonderful she was with the talkative little gal. She smiled a beautiful smile at me and went on her way. Thank you, Jesus, for showing yourself to me in that long travel day. I'm grateful I recognized you and didn't sleep through the whole lesson. I hope to be that patient, kind and generous with others this Holy Week and beyond! Love, heidi