Our daily food for the the journey: Acts 13:13-25, Psalm 89, John 13:16-20
The news cycle this week brought us the devastating loss and displacement that resulted from the earthquake in Nepal. It was quickly followed by the protests in Baltimore and our nation’s collective mourning for yet another young life lost at the hands of those who should have been protecting him. We are all reeling from the scope of suffering that erupted in the world and in our backyards these past fews days.
We are not confronted with suffering on this scale very often. Tragedy is usually interspersed with details of the newest mobile gadget, the latest trend in world cuisine, the most salacious celebrity instagram photo or tweet. This escapist content is what sells. We have not integrated a dialogue of suffering – collective or personal – into our cultural conversation. At moments like these we pause and reflect.
We turn to our faith traditions in moments of crisis and mourning. As Christian, we find the courage to mercifully embrace these difficult turning points through the narrative of our faith, the life Jesus. When life shows us its underbelly, as believers, we know the discourse does not end there. The Cross, which is an articulation humanity’s suffering, does not stand in isolation. It is preceded by Jesus’ teaching and followed by his Resurrection. This discourse adds depth, dimension and transformative power to the conversation of injustice, suffering, and loss in our world.
We reflect on the following passage from Today’s Gospel.
My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one. John 10:27-29
Let us read these words slowly, finding our shelter in the promise they contain.
Today’s Daily Readings are Acts 11:19- 26, Psalm 87, John 10 22-30
I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. John 6:35
Let us approach those circumstances and relationships that we are most inclined to resist with compassion for ourselves and those involved. Acceptance is a disposition of the heart that opens a path through Life’s more challenging circumstances. Another word for acceptance is surrender. I surrender to Jesus in the present moment, receiving his Presence as nourishment for the journey.
Today’s Daily Readings are Acts8:1b-8, Psalm 66:1-3a, 4-7a, John 6:35-40
Today’s Daily Readings
We each matter to God. We are, each one, favored and adored. Each human life is of inestimable value. We bear the image of God; and God, in Christ, bears ours. The individual is of utmost importance in Christianity.
The at-one-ness of our relationship with God through Christ is the great, transformative mystery that brings rest and healing to our hearts and order to our lives. There is tremendous compassion for the uniqueness of our particular human circumstances in God’s unifying love for us.
We draw strength from this intimate bond with the Spirit so that we, like Christ, may make of our lives a gift to one another. Knowing who we are in God’s love, we recognize our human family in this sacred dwelling we share. The Holy Spirit that lives in each of us unites all of us.
Today we read of the martyrdom of Saint Stephen. Let us hold close to our hearts and prayers every precious life that is lost in the world to hunger, violence, and neglect. Let us also resolve to educate and transform this world, our human family, into a place where human life and all of creation are both honored and protected.
Today’s Daily Reading
Today’s Daily Readings
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.
Letting go is not something that comes easily to most of us; particularly when circumstances become disruptive, distracting, and overwhelming. When we are caught off guard, the tendency is to react or attempt to assert control over our environment, rather than pausing to breathe and reach for Christ.
Our weaknesses, however, can be occasions of honest surrender and encounters with Grace. They are the windows that stream God’s mercy into our lives. The next time we find ourselves in the middle of a storm, let us bring reverent awareness to our tendencies to react and any unintended consequences that may arise. Let us invite Jesus into those turbulent moments, allowing our weaknesses and limitations to be enfolded in the compassionate Presence of Almighty God.
Today’s Daily Readings
So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God. Acts 5:38-39
This passage reminds me of the Coelho’s now famous quote, “When you desire something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Only it speaks to a deeper, more encompassing reality; namely, the will of God. If your heart has been inscribed with purpose that aligns with God’s will for your life, and you have taken steps in faith to achieve it, then you can be sure that nothing will impede it’s realization. The Lord’s word does not return empty.
Gamaliel’s declaration in today’s readings demonstrates a reverent awareness of God’s work in the world . He displays a discerning wisdom so powerful that it quells the uproar of those opposing the Apostles’ preaching. Awareness that is grounded in God’s presence in daily life is a simple, resolute, and profound. It leaves little room for missteps, worry, or doubt. What will be will be. This passage reminds us of the peace and reverence that arise from contemplative prayer, from the practice of abiding in God’s Presence.
Let us empty ourselves of fear and move forward confidently in our daily lives. Everything we need for the journey, the Spirit will provide along the way.
Tomorrow’s Daily Readings