Thursday, August 4, 2016

Forgive and forget

"All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more."
Jeremiah 31:34

We. as a culture, value memory. Especially as we age, it feels more important to be able to remember stuff; names, details, schedules. So, it may seem odd to think that God does not remember our forgiven sin. How could God not be keeping a careful ledger of our maleficence? Just like we had to keep a careful account of our misdeeds to tell the priest at Saturday confession! The reality is that there is nothing in it for God to keep track and remember every bad thing we have done, is there, really? God only loves us. God only wants what's best for us like a most loving parent. If our sins harm us God wants to heal that, not punish us. Wow, that. And, since God doesn't remember our sins, shouldn't we forgive and forget the sins of others, too? Of course!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Humble faith...

"It's not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs..."
Matthew 15:26

This morning, when I read this familiar Gospel, I had this image of Jesus wincing, shaking his head every time it is read and saying, "I wish I hadn't used the word dogs!" It is a bit wince-worthy, but hey, it was probably a hot and exhausting day. The bottom line is that Jesus listened to the woman, admired her faith and, in the end gave her what she desired--healing for her daughter.  Pray-As-You-Go invited us to contemplate this woman of great faith.  What are some of her qualities? Well, she was persistent, bold, tenacious. She was a mom who was passionate about her daughter's needs, like most moms. She was probably an 8 on the Enneagram--fiercely loyal, fighting for another. We are also invited to pick out what qualities we would like to emulate in this woman.  I would say her faith and humility. She was willing to create a scene, kneel down in the dirt and ask Jesus for a favor--a favor, not for herself, but for her daughter.  That takes tremendous humility and selflessness.  Jesus tells her that it is her faith that has healed her daughter, too. So, there we are.  A great example of asking God for what we need--with faith and humility! Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Come! Do not be afraid!

"At once Jesus spoke to them, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.' Peter said to him in reply, 'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.' He said, 'Come.'"
Matthew 14:27-29

Jesus may have said these words to the disciples two thousand years ago, but he says them to us every day of our lives. "Come," Jesus says to us as we embark on a new job, relationship, or adventure. Come, step out of yourselves and pay attention to others. Come, participate in a mission trip or your parish carnival. Come, leave your selfish habits, harsh judgments and fearful misgivings behind and step out!  And, at the same time, Jesus reassures us, saying "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Do not be afraid to do any of the do it with me.  Do not be afraid when things seem turbulent around you and the storms of life rock your little boat.  It is I, who have called you to live in this time, in this place, doing what you do. Do not be afraid when things seem scary or uncertain. I do my best work in scary and uncertain times! Jesus, sometimes we feel tossed around just like the disciples on the stormy sea. We want to trust that you are there for us, your hand outstretched to steady us. Help us to seek you and trust you! Love, heidi

Monday, August 1, 2016

The One who had nothing...

"Jesus had nothing.
Jesus was born in someone else's stable.
Jesus was buried in someone else's tomb.
Jesus had nothing. But Jesus gives us everything."
~Homily Sunday, 7/31

We could spend a whole retreat pondering this amazing truth. What does it speak to us? We, who have so much of everything. What are we to do with this? Because, you see, our pondering must, somehow, bring us to action. We must DO something with this or it just doesn't matter. It just becomes a nice sound bite from a summer Sunday. It speaks to me of the ideal to have only what I need and share what I have with others. And I really want to "need" less, at that. Wants and needs are tricky to pick apart, but when we are honest with ourselves we find we really need less. Our things don't bring us happiness. Our peeps bring us happiness. Our experiences bring us happiness. Our awareness of God in our lives brings us happiness. Our possessions are just things we have to keep track of, pay insurance on, launder and dust. The One who had nothing gave the world everything. Our mission is to learn all we can from that and go and do likewise.  Love, heidi