Friday, June 7, 2019

Who are the sheep?

"'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was distressed that (Jesus) had said to him a third time, 'Do you love me?' and he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep...'"
John 21:17

Peter is getting an opportunity to apologize to Jesus here on the beach, for his three denials the night Jesus was arrested. But, there is so much more to this exchange...stuff for us to read and heed, too. Jesus is telling Peter that loving him requires action. Loving Jesus is much more than simply saying so, it is doing so. And one doesn't have to think too hard to understand who the sheep and lambs are that Jesus is telling Peter to tend, either. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus answers the question "Who is my neighbor?" with the story of a guy who goes out of his way to help another guy--a guy unlike himself. And that is the critical message for us in our day. Our love for Jesus is demonstrated in how we treat others; from our family and loved ones to the people we may feel we share little in common. The "other" guy. The other we may not understand or see as worth getting to know. The other we may disagree with or be on opposing sides of issues. The other we may even fear for some reason. The sheep and lambs Jesus is telling Peter to tend are the "others" we are tempted to cross the street to avoid. But showing love to them is showing love to Jesus. Let's allow that to guide our actions this summer Friday! Love, heidi
(Oh, and I will be on retreat at Marymount next week, so will be praying for all from the porch of St. Helen's hermitage!)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Joy, Joy, Joy...

"But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely."
John 17:11b-19

Pray-As-You-Go posed an interesting question reflecting on this reading today. Do we think of Jesus as joyful? Ponderous, that. I think, growing up with the crucifix being the focal point of the church, one doesn't immediately go to joy when thinking of Jesus. In his book, "Between Heaven and Mirth," Fr. James Martin quotes Teilhard de Chardin: "Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God." So, naturally, connecting the dots that Jesus was God, we can assume that Jesus was joyful. Crowds followed him everywhere, obviously attracted to his miracles and astonishing works, but what about when he called the first followers? There must have been something so attractive about his manner and personality to draw these folks away from their work-a-day lives. I'm suspecting it was joy. Joy draws people. Inner joy, not just thigh-slapping good humor, but deep, inner joy really attracts people. I choose to picture Jesus as loving a good joke, laughing with his friends, smiling as he walks down the road.That joy, joy joy, joy down in his heart! What about you? Can you picture the joy of Jesus? Do you want to share his joy with him? Love, heidi