Thursday, March 29, 2018

Wash my feet?

"He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Master, are you going to wash my feet?'"
John 13:6

I'm with Peter here, truthfully. It's too hard to comprehend the fact that Jesus wants to take such a humble servant role and it's especially uncomfortable that he wants to do it for me. I wiggle and squirm in my seat as he begins to wash my feet, not knowing where I should look or what I should say. It's cringe-worthy for sure. But harder than that, even, is the fact that Jesus asks me to do the same and to love the same and to humble myself the same way for others. The whole thing seems much too hard! Whenever I feel challenged to love someone else, all I need do is sit and imagine Jesus with my foot in his hands and him tenderly showing me what I am to do with others. I have been shown how to do it and I will be helped in doing it, too. Jesus, as we begin these holiest of days, please help me learn from you. Help me look deeply into your eyes as you wash my feet and seeing your love and compassion, may it touch me to do the same for those around me. I love you. And may I show you my love by loving others. Love, heidi

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Carrying our crosses...

"Your cross in life may be a mystery that seems to escape understanding."
Fr. Ed Hays, "The Lenten Labyrinth"

Today is a good day to think about the crosses we carry in life. We all have them, in fact, Jesus tells us to "take up" our crosses and follow him. This week is a good week to ponder what they are. What is the most difficult thing we have ever had to face? What is the hardest part of our daily lives? What do we struggle with the most? Whatever we consider our crosses to be we need to remember two things...
First, we must remember our crosses help us to share in the cross that Jesus carried and ultimately took his life. In our sharing of that cross, we share in the healing of the world.
Second, Jesus helps us carry our own crosses every single day. If someday we feel a bit lighter in our burden, we just have to look behind us and see Jesus carrying the back half of our cross, lightening our load. Let's pray with that image today...the week is about to get really holy! Love, heidi

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Our greatest sin...

"Our greatest sin is not falling or failing, but refusing to rise and trust ourselves--and God--again."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, 3/27/18

I am pondering if this isn't the exact difference between Judas and Peter as demonstrated in today's Gospel (John 13:21-23, 33-38). Jesus foretells that one of his closest companions will betray him and another will deny him. We all know who does what and we also know how they both deal with their shame and regret. Like many other situations in life, it isn't so much what happens as it is how we deal with what happens. I remember, as a kid, being so troubled by Judas' reaction to his own action. He tries to undo the betrayal, give the money back to the chief priests, un-ring the horrid bell. His desperation comes to a sad conclusion when he takes his own life. Peter, on the other hand, slinks off, also in despair, knowing he--who said he would do anything for Jesus--is caught denying Jesus. Peter's despair didn't lead him to his own death, however. Something in him kept him on this side of life, until his chance to answer the risen Lord's questions on the beach, "Do you love me?" Today, as we inch toward the holiest of days, let us think about our need to rise and trust ourselves and God. We need God's mercy and it is there for us every minute of every day. There is nothing we can do to lose God's love. Love, heidi

Monday, March 26, 2018

Right concern, wrong reason...

"Then Judas, the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 'Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages and given to the poor?'"
John 12:4-5

This reading today brings up a good point to ponder this Holy Week. It wasn't bad that Judas was concerned about the poor, we are all to be concerned about the poor. But it was a misplaced concern, as explained in the next verse... Judas was actually helping himself to the common purse. So he had a right concern for the wrong reasons. We can ask ourselves if we ever have the right concern, or even action, for the wrong reason. Do we ever help so as to be seen helping? Or do we help so the favor may be returned? Do we contribute to be publicly thanked? To have our name on a plaque or on a list of contributors? If so, there is no further reward for us--Jesus makes that very clear in Matthew 6, the Gospel that started Lent for us on Ash Wednesday. Our giving is to be in secret, our motives just sincere love and compassion. As we walk this difficult week with Jesus, let's think about why we are doing what we do. And lets genuinely walk this most arduous walk with him. Love, heidi