Friday, April 10, 2015

It's still Easter...don't put your hat away!

"And none of the disciples dared to ask him, 'Who are you?' Because they realized it was the Lord."
John 21:12
Sometimes, it's easy to spot Jesus in a situation, like the kind woman on my flight a couple of weeks ago.  Jesus stands out like a sore thumb in some situations--the passerby stopping to help a stranded motorist, a warm hand to hold while waiting in the ICU, the encouraging voice on the other end of the phone, just when you need it.  Jesus isn't always mysterious in his presence! When the disciples are fishing and catch nothing, they see someone on the shore and squint to make out who it is.  The figure hollers to them to cast the net out the right side of the boat and the fishermen can't pull the net in, it is so full of fish.  Sometimes, Jesus is just that obvious in the situations of our lives.  We can see Jesus in the miracles.  So, it is the miracles we need to remember when we squint and can't see Jesus...the times we may feel sad and alone and keep pulling up empty nets.  Those difficult days, we are called to remember the easy days of recognizing Jesus on the shore with a fire going.  We will have both experiences of Jesus through our journeys. Our experience of one will help us through the other.  Blessings on your continuing Easter weekend! (It's still Easter!)  Love, heidi

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

We had hoped...

"But we were hoping..."
Luke 24:21
In his book, "Jesus: A Pilgrimage," Fr. James Martin has a beautiful chapter on the Gospel story of the road to Emmaus, which is today's Gospel (Luke 24:13-35)  He highlights the words of the disciples to Jesus, "We had hoped..."  In their despair and sadness over the events of Jesus' passion and death, they were stuck, and thus, unable to recognize Jesus walking with them on the road.  It really can prompt us to spend some time in prayer thinking about the things we may have hoped for that did not work out.  Are we stuck in those times? Is it hard for us to see any good coming from a difficult situation?  Can we look carefully and begin to see God working in those times of disappointment?  "We had hoped..."  We had hoped this job would have worked out...We had hoped this relationship would have lasted...We had hoped our child would have taken a different path. You name it, we can find times of disappointment in our lives.  But, just as the disciples on the road, we need to learn to recognize that God is constantly working in those times especially, in our lives.  Those times of disappointment and heartbreak are fertile soil for God to plant seeds that will grow and give us new life.  Today, let's spend some time with this Gospel and the words, "We had hoped..." and then spend time looking for and recognizing God in these situations.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Call my name!

"Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And, as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there..."
John 20:11-12
We all make the same mistake Mary makes in today's Gospel; we look for Jesus in the wrong place--among the dead. And, when she encounters the Risen Jesus a bit later in this Gospel, she doesn't recognize him. We can, easily, make that same mistake, too.  Jesus isn't to be found among the dead, even now, two thousand years later. Jesus wants to be recognized among the living. Mary mistook the Risen Christ for a gardener, which really makes me wonder, what did he look like? He must have looked human, but not like he did just a few days before.  That is Jesus today for us, too.  He is definitely human, but may not look like the Jesus we could easily recognize from religious art, holy icons or statues. Jesus, my Risen Lord, please help me to recognize you today in each and every person I encounter!  Is there a sign you can give me so I know it's you?  Maybe, just like you did for Mary, call me by my name...Love, heidi

Monday, April 6, 2015

He is Risen!

"Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.'"
Matthew 28:10
Is it a difficult transition from Lenten sacrifices and penance to Easter joy? Not for me, who struggles so with the penances in the first place, but perhaps for others.  Sometimes it is easier and more comfortable to be penitent during Lent than to celebrate Easter.  But, the fact is, Lent was only forty days and we celebrate Easter as Church for fifty days, so make merry and join the fun!  We had a wonderful homily during our Easter Vigil, showing us ways we can share in the Risen life of Jesus.  First of all, any time we love again after a rejection in our lives, we share in the Risen One.  Any time we hope again after all seems lost, we share in Jesus' new, risen life.  Any time we pick ourselves up and try again after failure, we are one with the Risen Lord.  And any time we trust again after our trust has been betrayed, we are rising with Christ.  Our lives are a series of death and rising too, if we live our lives in Jesus and with Jesus.  The mysterious Resurrection can be part of our daily work-a-day lives right here, right now!  And that is certainly worth celebrating for at least fifty days!  He is Risen!  Love, heidi