Thursday, January 10, 2019

Love of neighbor...

"Whoever loves God must also love his (or her) brother (or sister)."
1 John 4:21

Continuing with the letter of St. John about love, we see the hard part. Loving God seems so much easier than loving our neighbor. God seems more abstract, easier to love, while our neighbor could be right next to us, saying things that drive us crazy, getting on our last nerve. No question about it, it's easier to love the abstract than the real thing next door. But what if we imagine for a moment that it is God living next door? Maybe it's God using a leaf blower at 7:00 AM? What if it is God challenging our good will by taking up the position opposite of ours (and we know we're right!) What if it's God at the border or in the prison or on the street corner with a sign? If we can imagine God as our neighbor it may help us overcome the ill-will with our neighbor. If we believe that God creates all living things (including people) and breathes life into all creation we can maybe wiggle around to the idea that God is in all creatures. The love of God is in all, whether people choose to manifest that love or not. It seems that creation has less difficulty manifesting the glory of God than human beings.Think of sitting out in nature and taking in the vast glory of God there! Human beings have free will, which may make them a bit less loveable at times. Just for today, let's imagine all we meet are carrying the love of God within them, whether or not it shows outwardly. And let's try to make sure our love of God does show outwardly! Love, heidi

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

God is love...

"...for God is love."
1 John 4:8

We've heard it before, many times probably, but what does it mean for us this January day?
Pray-As-You-Go says that it means God is active and engaging, not static or far away. God wants to be part of our everyday lives, not just thought about on Sundays as we dash off to church. The fact that God is love means that God wants to be in relationship with us 24/7, no matter what we are doing. I used to think the "religious life" was defined as being a priest or sister, but in fact, all of us are called to the vocation of being in love with God and being actively engaged in God's love in the world. No matter what job we do or where we are in life, we are little ambassadors of God's love. Let's pray with that a minute and see what it looks like in our Tuesday. For me, I was so happy to get back to school yesterday! The kids seem to have grown over the break and I had missed them! I know God has me right there to shower them with love and compassion, patience and kindness, too. God wants them to feel loved and, blessedly, there are so many at our school who love them. I feel so grateful to be one of them! What does it look like for you to be God's love in the world today? Love, heidi

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Jesus Star...

"They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother."
Matthew 2:10-11

The Magi hadn't spent much time with the infant Jesus, but just finding Jesus and his mother filled them with joy! The star stopped over the place where Jesus was but finding Jesus may not be as obvious for us. It may not be so obvious to see Jesus in the faces of the poor, the refugee, the prisoner, the drug addict. We may choose to keeping looking, thinking that Jesus couldn't possibly be in such forsaken faces and places, but that's where the Jesus Star stops. The Magi were wise because they followed the star wherever it went and, rather than stopping over a palace, it stopped over a stable. Jesus shows by his humble birth that his star always stops over the poor. That's where we find him, not in the palace, not with the wealthy or powerful, but in a humble place, with humble people. If we are truly wise, like the Magi, we will stop looking for Jesus in wealth, power and possessions. In fact, those were what Jesus discarded while he lived among us. Satan, himself, tried to offer all three to Jesus while he was in the desert. Jesus, true to himself, chose to hang out with the poor and those cast out by the system. For us, we need to remember that the wise still seek Jesus, and the really wise know where to look. Love, heidi