"And when he had said this, (Jesus) said to (Peter), 'Follow me.'"
Today, as I stew about work issues and other pursuits and all the people who give me worry (and I take it), maybe Jesus is just reminding me, "Follow me." Maybe I'm to just concentrate on Jesus, my Leader, today and let God sort out all the other stuff. Let God figure out the work stuff, the soggy weekend forecast, the suffering masses, and the fact that, sometimes, I feel I just don't measure up. Dear God, I want to leave all of that in your capable hands. I just want to follow Jesus! And following Jesus means loving others--not fixing them, or complaining about them, or tolerating them through clenched teeth, but loving them. Loving them means being kind, forgiving, and gentle. It means finding the good in them and realizing that God is working in them just as God is working in me. Jesus told Peter to tend and love his sheep and sometimes the sheep are difficult to tend and love. But, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, and following Jesus, we can do it! Blessings abundant on your holiday weekend! Love, heidi
"Show forth, O God, your power, the power, O God, with which you took our part."
Author Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes) often refers to clouds in his head and heart when things sadden him. I can totally relate to the clouds this Wednesday morning. For one thing, we are on Day Four of gloomy, cloudy, rainy weather (yes, we do need the moisture, but, still...) Also, the clouds outside remind me of those who are suffering all around me. A family I know in Montana lost their young adult son to cancer last weekend. Heartbreaking. The tragic, devastating loss in Nepal is overwhelming. My learning curve in my job and other pursuits seems a bit askew (in other words, I'm not doing stuff right). Clouds, and more clouds. Our homily Saturday night reminded us that God is in a cloud, though. God appeared to Moses and the Israelites in a cloud. Jesus went up to heaven on Ascension in a cloud. There are good clouds, too...the clouds with God in them. I guess that's a relief! Today, let us try to see God in the clouds, not just the perceived gloom of the clouds. Let's let the clouds remind us to pray for those who are going through difficult times this day. Let's pray for comfort in the clouds, for others. Love, heidi
"...live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love..."
Well, I can tell you right now, I didn't do THIS well yesterday! I knew it too, right away. I deal fairly well with 99% of the people I work with, but that 1%, that small 1%, just get my goat. And you know what? They are the ones who ARE Jesus. They are the ones who have the most to teach me. They are the ones I should be thanking God for each day, because they are the ones God put in my life. If I am just open to the valuable lessons, they are the real teachers for me. Lord, I'm sorry for not recognizing you yesterday. I recognized you looking back on the day, but at the time, I missed you all together. There you were, needing me. And there I was, seeing right past you. But, today is another day and you will come into my life many times today. I want to keep my eyes open and spot you right away! Thank you for this new opportunity! Love, heidi
"Jesus said to Peter the third time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, 'Do you love me?' and he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep.'"
Thanks to the Little White Book, I prayed with this scripture this weekend. What came to me surprised me. Three times Jesus asks Peter "Do you love me?" Peter answers yes, he does. But never once does Peter apologize to Jesus for his denial of Jesus and cowardice during Jesus' Passion. I'm just now noticing this. Why no apology from Peter? Peter doesn't even ask Jesus for forgiveness. This fascinates me. Jesus knew Peter's heart, inside and out. He knew Peter was sorry and stuck in his guilt, therefore, he urged Peter to affirm his love three times, once for each denial. But, Peter offers no apology? I think apologies are important. We need to say them and others need to hear them. Jesus has to coax his true feelings out of Peter, but I want to be more open and honest with Jesus. When I know I did wrong or even didn't do my best, I want to apologize. It helps me be real before God. God knows how I feel, sure. But I want to say it, own it and celebrate the great forgiveness I receive. That's a lot for a May Monday, but there it is! Love, heidi