Entering Holy Week

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. Og Mandino

Journeys can be so confusing. Even when we are following a trusted guide, it is not always clear as to where we are going and why. Our expectations need to be re-examined and adjusted.

Entering this Holy Week, I am once again reminded of how life’s journey so often takes unforeseen turns. Throughout all of his ministry, Jesus spoke of the difficult times ahead. As he and his disciples approached Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover, all expectations for true triumph were at their highest point.

How could they know what was to happen? Even though Jesus had told them to prepare for grieving and hardship – how could they have ever imagined the events that were so near? They were filled with memories of miracles and inclusion, inspired by direct teaching and entrusted to be the ambassadors of God’s Good News. Everything pointed toward a new way, supported and encouraged by God’s presence among them.

And… they were right to anticipate a radical shift in living and believing. Through the passage of time, Jesus’ example would continue to inspire and direct the faithful to share, by word and example, another way of living in this world. A way that would raise our attentions to justice and draw our actions to mercy.

But first… Jesus would lead them through a time – dark and tragic. The path on this journey was set. It would be a while before ‘hope’ would lift the darkness and shed the light of faith’s resurrection.20120402-044651.jpg

The week has begun. Jerusalem’s gates have welcomed Jesus, his beloved friends and followers. We, too, find ourselves in the mix, with our own expectations. May we be open to unforeseen turns and welcome new revelations.

 

How we can hear and see our ‘call’ while preparing to share our faith…

 July has given away to August. For many there are a few short days ahead before the schedule once again fills to capacity. There is one last trip to the beach house, the mountains, or even a little more holiday with extended family. All too soon the slower pace of summer will be a memory.

As these days are before us, I am reminded of all the people who have already rolled up their sleeves to prepare for another year of Sunday school  and opportunities for faith formation. For most people this preparation has filled a good part of the summer. Each of these dedicated program directors, teachers and volunteers  work diligently  as they discover creative ways to offer God’s good news in classrooms and parish gatherings.

In all the preparation it can be hard to take “holy time” for oneself. I came across this video and offer it as a resource for time when some support might be needed– something to encourage a moment for your own spiritual care. May you find the time for refreshment and renewal when possible. May you always know that the work to organize and support teachers and other assistants is critical for the church’s foundation. May you be blessed in the creative prayers of your children and the honest searching of your adults.

 enjoy…

to choose kindness..

as the sun sets on this Sabbath, I am acutely aware of the battle for power occurring among the ‘leaders’ of this country. I try to steer far from writing about politics (in obvious ways) — yet tonight as many people go to bed fearful of what tomorrow might bring, I touch the tip of this topic in hopes to introduce a different way to look at this time in history. some of us remember the movement called “random acts of kindness’. books were written, cards were designed and calendars created to help remind us of the importance of kindness. I was always curious as to why we needed such prodding to treat others, stranger and friend, with a caring heart.

this way of “acting” is no longer a given in relationships nor held in esteem by many in public service. and so as we move toward a critical moment in this nation’s history, I find the words – choose kindness – as each day’s mantra. while we are surrounded by news that’s purpose is to create anxiety and fear, let us test the practice of sharing kindness and good news. Below is an article concerning the influence of ‘good news’. For many of us sharing ‘good news’ is part of our life as followers of Jesus – at this time be encouraged to do this as suggested by St. Francis; “Preach the gospel (good news), if necessary use words”

How good news can inspire good deeds

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