Sunday, July 23, 2017

Saint Mary Magdalene


Through the centuries Mary Magdalene has gone from being called "The Apostle to the Apostles" to being depicted as a penitent prostitute.  There is no scriptural basis for the latter, but in John's Gospel the Risen Jesus sent (apostle means "someone who is sent") her to tell the other apostles that he had risen.  The passage in John (20:11-18) is my favorite Resurrection story.  It has a beautiful, personal feel about it as Mary comes to recognize the Risen Christ in the way he speaks her name.
Pope Francis has recently raised her July 22 feast to the same level as the other Apostles.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Unexpected Beauty


Last evening after the sun had set, everything looked very silvery as usual.  Then, unexpectedly, the color in the clouds began and grew more and more beautiful.  From the dock I received this special color on the ripples of the lake.  Beauty will save the world.
(Clicking on the picture enlarges it to reveal more beauty.)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Come and Rest


"Come to me.  Learn from me.  And I will give you rest," invites Jesus.
The rest Jesus gives comes from assimilating his attitudes, indeed his very person.  Jesus lives in us and shares with us his goodness, his gentleness towards people, his heart given in obedience to his Father.  What an effortless way to live!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

United


Early morning light promises

In July's Give Us This Day this prayer seemed exactly what we needed for our celebration of Independence Day.  It has steered me in a direction for my homily different from what I had been considering.  This is just the beginning and end of the prayer by Jane Deren:
God of all, you challenge us
to be a unified national community.
You call us to move beyond
partisan politics
so we may create
a vision of the common good
so sorely needed by our country....
God of all, bless our nation at this time
and open the way to unity
so we may follow your call.  Amen


Saturday, June 24, 2017

To care and not to care


Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks
Our peace in your will.

These lines from T.S. Elliot's poem Ash Wednesday have helped me enormously since I first studied him in the seminary.  I don't want to be indifferent.  I pray that I will care mightily.  At the same time I don't want to be always upset about something beyond me.  So I pray to care and not to care and find peace in God's will.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice


This morning's sunrise seemed designed especially to celebrate the summer solstice.  A friend told me a few weeks ago that the word comes from the Latin "sol" meaning "sun" and "sticere" meaning "to stand still."  The sun stops and seems to begin moving in a different direction. The earth stops tilting toward the north and begins tilting back towards the south.  I wonder how far back our human ancestors observed the regularity of this event.

Monday, June 19, 2017

More Than Many Sparrows


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? 
And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing....
No need to be afraid;
you are worth more than many sparrows." 
Matthew 10:29-31

Yeh! I know they're not sparrows, but where I live they are more plentiful than sparrows.  I'll sell you 70 for a dollar!