Friday, July 20, 2018

No enemies...

"I say to you something greater than the temple is here..."
Matthew 12:6

This is the Gospel where Jesus confronts the Pharisees when they complain about his disciples picking the heads of grain and eating it on the sabbath. Jesus points out that they may be missing the forest for the trees, too caught up on the immediate rules and regs and missing the bigger picture. And aren't we still doing that? Pray-As-You-Go asks us to consider how we feel about the Pharisees through this reading. Do we think they are nit-picky and ridiculous? Or could they just be earnest and doing what they think is right? It got me thinking, why do we tend to demonize those with whom we disagree? It's so easy to make them the enemy and wrong, isn't it? What if they are just being earnest and believing what they think is right? Especially in our polarized society, what if we took steps today to consider those we disagree with to be friends-who-disagree instead of enemies? I'm one who always thinks of the Pharisees as the "villains" in the Gospel, but what if they are just friends-who-disagree? Good food for thought this summer Friday! Blessings on your weekend! (I'm retired. In the immortal words of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, "What is a weekend?" Ha!) Love, heidi

Thursday, July 19, 2018

God's peace...

"Lord, you mete out peace to us, for it is you who have accomplished all we have done."
Isaiah 26:12

This part  of today's first reading jumped out at me as I sat in the treehouse listening on Pray-As-You-Go. Do we receive the peace the Lord is giving to us? Sometimes I wonder as I don't feel it myself. I trust that God is giving us peace, but God's peace is very different than what we consider peace to be. I've grown up thinking peace is merely the absence of war. I think God gives us a peace that transcends what the world gives us and that we find it deep inside of our hearts, not in our news feed. The peace that God gives does not allow us to sit idly by, either, but God's peace is more a call to action. God's peace gets us up off the couch or camp chair and gives us something to do. God's peace calls us to roll up our sleeves and help and that, in itself, can be peace-inducing. God's peace is not passive, but active--people with God's peace are out there loving and serving. People with God's peace know that the peace is placed in their hearts by God for them to share it with others. We can plug in and find that peace through quiet contemplation and prayer.  And then, just as mystically as we receive it, we are to share it actively with others.  Today, our summer Thursday, let's spend some time quietly soaking in God's peace.  And then, how can we share it? Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The childlike and the learned...

..."for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike."
Matthew 11:25

On Pray-As-You-Go this morning, they ask which camp we think we may be in--the learned and wise or the childlike? And what does it even mean to be childlike? Or learned? In thinking about it, I believe being childlike is more about faith and being learned is more about knowledge. Both can help us find God, but faith seems the more powerful. Look how often Jesus tells those healed, "Your faith has healed you." He laments that mighty deeds cannot be done in places where faith is slim. The childlike faith of those who have reached the end of themselves and reach out eagerly for help gives Jesus the go-ahead to work miracles. On the other hand, we can study and learn about God from here until the end of time and still not have an experience of God--the kind of experience that leads us to true faith. The faith that can lead us, when things get dicey, to just exhale deeply and remember that God is with us, loving us--and that is all we really need.  (Oh, and for those following the squirrel-in-the-tree story, he came back and is working feverishly. Stay tuned!)  Love, heidi

Monday, July 16, 2018

Of squirrels and liturgies...

"And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple--Amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
Matthew 10:42

It's a beautifully dawning morning in the treehouse! Yesterday, there was this crazy squirrel, dashing about, taking twigs and leaves to one central location. He did this for a long time, to the point where I Googled "Do squirrels build nests in trees?" The answer was "Yes, squirrels do!" So Tebow and I watched the squirrel for a while and then, suddenly, he left. Maybe he decided the rent was too high. Maybe he couldn't live with the 34 page lease (Yes, 34 pages! I haven't lived so regulated since Catholic grade school!) So, back to this Gospel... Jesus is so clear and I feel we are still missing it. God doesn't care how deeply we genuflect. Period. God doesn't care about our rituals, ceremonies and La-Te-Da that we do in order to please God. (Read today's first reading,--Isaiah 1:10-17 for even more clarification). That stuff is easy and may make us feel good about ourselves, but God doesn't need it or even particularly want it. God wants us to love and take care of each other.  That's it! And that is so much harder for us to do than gathering once a week to liturgize. That doesn't mean we shouldn't gather and pray together, it just means that should launch us forth into giving cold drinks to the "little ones," whoever they may be. Love, heidi