Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Where two or three...

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Matthew 18:20

There is such comfort in that promise from Jesus, but there is also a great responsibility! Where two or three gather there is sometimes a tendency to gossip or say unkind thing about others, isn't there? It just dawned on me for the first time after so many readings of this Gospel, that, just as Jesus accompanies us as we gather in prayer, Jesus also accompanies us as we gather to share. So, what are we sharing?  Let's do a little self-check to make sure we're comfortable with Jesus hearing what we say to each other! And, speaking of gathering with two or three others, I am headed off to the SCL Mother House for an exciting gathering--a Teilhard de Chardin retreat culminating in the solar eclipse on Monday. I know, I can hardly believe it myself! I will get a chance to see dear friends, visit sacred spaces there at the Mother House in Kansas, and learn about the mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin...all fabulous gifts! I will return next week with newly gleaned wisdom (I hope and pray!)  Be careful watching the eclipse, Friends, I love you as friends and readers, but don't want you as clients! Love, heidi

Monday, August 14, 2017

Befriend the stranger...

"So you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt."
Deuteronomy 10: 19

Moses reminds his people to love those in their midst who are strangers in their land. He reminds us, too. We are to love them as God loves them, and show that by feeding and clothing them (v. 18). We are not to throw rocks at them, kick them out, disparage them or make them feel unwelcome in any way. Why do we need reminders of this in the 21st century? Jesus was drawn to the outsider, the despised, those on the fringe. Jesus made them the heroes and heroines of his stories, to show us that we are all glorious in the eyes of God. So who are we to divide and align? Our saint today, St. Maximillian Kolbe, gave his life in love for others at Auschwitz. The lives he touched by giving of himself were likely not people of his own religion, country of origin, or culture. They were more than likely strangers to him before they were all imprisoned together. St. Maximillian served people who started out as strangers to him, and yet he sacrificed for them; in one case, he gave his own life for another. That is what Jesus said is the greatest sacrifice ever. Today, as we think about St. Maximillian Kolbe, what can we do to sacrifice for another? Let them cut into line in front of us?  Pay for someone's coffee or lunch behind us? Hold our tongue from gossip or unkind speech? Speak positive words of life to encourage others and lift them up? Let's go out of our way, today, Friends to be beacons of God's love to others...ALL others! Love, heidi