Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
**May it be to me as you have said…**
The liturgical calendar moves very quickly from Easter now and the resurrection of Jesus, to the Annunciation of Jesus. Mary, is visited by the angel Gabriel, and he tells her that she is to bear a son and give him the name Jesus, that he will be great and called the Son of the Most High.
The overlap of [historical time], is not in [conjunction] with real time, as these reading coming so close together in the Gospel cycles. So we are heading towards Pentecost [in real time] and the giving of the Holy Spirit that falls fifty days after the celebration of Easter in the Christian liturgical calendar.
Imagine the thoughts going through Mary’s head, the fear that could have taken her over and the denial had she not seen the angel from the Lord and believed in his words of faith. In our study of faith, we know that not only Mary had been visited, but also Joseph, her betrothed. Joseph was a harder sell, as we know than Mary. She responds to Gabriel’s message with, “Let it be done to me according to the will of God!”
Joseph on the other hand, tried to flee from this – as his fear was greater than his faith. If we read further in the story, Joseph was visited upon twice and the angel in Matthews Gospel, the visits Joseph because he was a righteous man, he was going to dismiss Mary quietly.
(Mt.1:19-25) The angel tells Joseph “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit…”
At first, Joseph was besides himself. Why should he take this woman as his wife, as they had not had “relations” to produce such a child, and the fact that God himself would come upon her in the form of the Holy Spirit to bless her. Joseph didn’t want any of this – and so it is written that the angel appeared to him twice to convince him to have faith and that it was his calling to take Mary as his wife and to raise Jesus in the customs of the Hebrew faith.
Joseph is a man of faith, a man of respect and a man with silent dignity. That he stepped up and did these things speaks of a greater man than we may take notice of at first, from the simple mentions of the Gospel narratives. In reading other Christian writings, and even those fiction writings about the life of Jesus as a child, Joseph was a quiet man who did not draw attention to himself openly, but when needed he spoke with care and authority. He took Jesus as his son and raised him according to how he was taught.
We can imagine Joseph and Mary to a degree, having to question what they have just been told, to acquiesce to the will of God and they live through the process of Purgation, Illumination and finally, one in union with God Almighty. This process of facing the darkness to be healed wholly, the the reception of God’s light which then calls them to a deeper union with God.
There are many people and personalities in Biblical Scripture that we can source to observe just how tried and true they are in their faiths. Joseph and Mary faced such trials in that time, Mary receiving life within her, Joseph taking her as his wife, traveling to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem for the census, taking care of the family, and after the birth of Jesus, Herod went on his killing spree because of his fear of this new “king of David” his decree of each first born son was to be killed, Joseph had to flee with his wife, son and family into Egypt where they lived and where purported Jesus grew up.
(Mt. 2:13-23) “Now after they had left [Bethlehem] an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph [a third time] in a dream and said Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him…”
From this point of the Annunciation through the Incarnation of God, through Jesus Christ, and his life, death and resurrection, we take part in the three Christian Doctrines (a) the Trinity God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (b) the Incarnation, and (c) the Paschal Mystery, that Christians all over the world have since celebrated this past Holy Week.
Life was not easy on our little band of family. They faced so many things, the incarnation of God in Jesus, set in motion a series of events that shape, mold and impress upon us, the faith that we all share. That we should have the resolve to face our own lives and issues with the same faith and strength that the Holy Family did.
John 20: 19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed…”
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…
As you can see there is still a little snow here and there, but for the most part the sidewalks and streets are clear. Last night Montreal participated in the Earth Hour blackout – as some of the downtown buildings went dark for the hour, although not many people on this end, that you see before you went dark. This is the West view of downtown.
We got out of the house today and went for lunch at the Eaton Centre which is always a fun time. I wanted to spend some quality time with hubby, not commiserating like we have been as of late. Last night he went out with friends who seemed to know just what he needed and they told him things that he took to heart. So all is well.
We then set off for Indigo Book sellers, I wanted to find something new to read, as term is coming to an end and my night table is littered with old books that I have been rehashing over and over again! UGH!!
Books are expensive, do you know that? Canadians pay a fare share when it comes to books, it’s a good thing I have my “I Rewards” card, which at least shaves off some of the total on the book. I walked around the store looking for something good, and I walked over to the “R’s” looking to see if the Rice family had anything to offer up, and low and behold I find this:
Our young writer has grown up into a very good looking man. This is his latest book called “Blind Fall.” Get it here on Amazon.
“From three-time New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice – whose novels have been called “bold and ambitious” by the New York Times, “chillingly perverse” by USA Today, and “shocking, sexy… intricate: by Glamour – comes this startling psychological thriller about an Iraq War vet who seeks redemption and revenge when a fellow Marine he failed to protect during the war is brutally murdered.”
I once met Christopher many years ago, when I was living on Miami Beach, he came for a book signing at Books and Books on Lincoln Road Mall, when he published his first book called “A Density of Souls.” This should be a great read…
All in all it has been a very good day. Stay tuned for more later…
An old proverb says, “He that cannot ask cannot live”. If you want answers you have to ask questions. These are 75 questions you should ask yourself and try to answer. You can ask yourself these questions right now and over the course of your life.
1. Why not me?
Because it is not always about me…
2. Am I nice?
3. Am I doing what I really want to do?
4. What am I grateful for?
Life, Love, Health, Marriage, Friends
5. What’s missing in my life?
More Money, Financial Freedom
6. Am I honest?
7. Do I listen to others?
Yes I do
8. Do I work hard?
Yes, of course
9. Do I help others?
10. What do I need to change about myself?
I don’t know
11. Have I hurt others?
12. Do I complain?
13. What’s next for me?
I’m not sure
14. Do I have fun?
Yes I do
15. Have I seized opportunities?
For the most part yes
16. Do I care about others?
Of course I do
17. Do I spend enough time with my family?
No, they aren’t a part of my life today, their choice not mine
18. Am I open-minded?
19. Have I seen enough of the world?
20. Do I judge others?
21. Do I take risks?
Yes I do
22. What is my purpose?
To live my best life
23. What is my biggest fear?
24. How can I conquer that fear?
25. Do I thank people enough?
26. Am I successful?
In my own way, yes
27. What am I ashamed of?
Wasted time with addictions
28. Do I annoy others?
29. What are my dreams?
Big House, Lots of kids, money in the bank
30. Am I positive?
Yes, in more ways than one
31. Am I negative?
32. Is there an afterlife?
Yes there is
33. Does everything happen for a reason?
Yes it does
34. What can I do to change the world?
Start with myself
35. What is the most foolish thing I’ve ever done?
36. Am I cheap?
37. Am I greedy?
38. Who do I love?
Myself, myHusband, my friends
39. Who do I want to meet?
The Dalai Lama
40. Where do I want to go?
Explore the world
41. What am I most proud of?
I am still alive at 40
42. Do I care what others think about me?
Yes I do
43. What are my talents?
There are many
44. Do I utilize those talents?
No not all of them
45. What makes me happy?
Good food, good conversation, my husband smiling
46. What makes me sad?
My husband being sad
47. What makes me angry?
Stupidity and self righteousness
48. Am I satisfied with my appearance?
49. Am I healthy?
50. What was the toughest time in my life?
During my slip in recovery
51. What was the easiest time in my life?
I don’t think there has been an easy time
52. Am I selfish?
53. What was the craziest thing I did?
I backpacked Europe
54. What is the craziest thing I want to do?
Return to Europe
55. Do I procrastinate?
56. What is my greatest regret?
That I could not reconcile my family
57. What has had the greatest impact on my life?
58. Who has had the greatest impact on my life?
59. Do I stand up for myself?
60. Have I settled for mediocrity?
61. Do I hold grudges?
62. Do I read enough?
Yes i think so
63. Do I listen to my heart?
Yes, probably too much
64. Do I donate enough to the less fortunate?
65. Do I pray only when I want something?
66. Do I constantly dwell on the past?
67. Do I let other people’s negativity affect me?
I try not to
68. Do I forgive myself?
69. When I help someone do I think “What’s in it for me”?
70. Am I aware that someone always has it worse than me?
71. Do I smile more than I frown?
72. Do I surround myself with good people?
Yes I do
73. Do I take time out for myself?
74. Do I ask enough questions?
75. What other questions do I have?
There are so many …
Mark 16: 9-15
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.
But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
“Go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature!”
That is the order of the day today. I don’t know how much preaching I am going to do here, but here we go. I was looking for things to write about tonight, as I am home alone, hubby is out with his friends, they are trying to cheer him up after his big let down.
I’ve been trying to work on my final paper for Christian Spirituality, last night while I was reading in bed the phrase “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” came to mind since I am writing a paper on mortality.
This is a subject that not many people talk about until it comes to them by way of illness or a death in the family. During class, one of my classmates asked me how on earth she could write a paper, and I said to her simply, find your passion, write about it, the paper will then write itself. It’s really simple, yet I am sitting here wracking my brains trying to come up with some coherent thought. So I guess that I need to work harder at following my own advice.
I was on You Tube earlier and I found a few really interesting videos from Ed Young and Joel Osteen down in Texas. I am in the mood for looking for some really great teachings tonight so I did some listening. There is a lot of good material to watch from all over the world when it comes to Christian Spirituality. I can go to church every day and twice on Sunday, but yet I feel shortchanged when it comes to teaching. You Tube is a really great platform if you are looking for something to do with your spare time, like I need to tell you that!! Who doesn’t You Tube???
I guess we should talk about gratitude, and having that attitude of thankfulness.
“God is longing to be good to the people that are looking for his goodness…”
Things are as they should be
I have all that I need
All is well in my house
I can spend time with my God
and people have come to help us which is good
I have food in the fridge
a roof over my head and
a warm bed to sleep in…
On it’s axis…
Hubby’s application to get into McGill University was REFUSED. He is, at this moment, sobbing in the bedroom.
God help us…
It was a very sad day for us on our house today. It broke my heart into a million pieces to watch my husband sob for hours asking “Why?” and saying “They don’t want me…” It was one of the most difficult days I’ve seen my husband through. I stayed home today just so that he would not be by himself, because most of the day he was quiet, then tonight he went into the bedroom and cried. It is just very sad.
I had a sinking feeling that this was what was going to happen. But to see a man degraded like this was inhuman. The letter must be on its way, thank god for electronic posting, so now instead of waiting for the rejection letter – they put it up on the site: REJECTED!!!
What is this world coming to???
Time for plan B… He didn’t want to consider a plan B, because he was sure based on his entrance papers and his letters of recommendation that it was a positive guarantee, we were WRONG!!!
My inlaws are going to fall to pieces when they find out. My father in law had a bad fall and is nursing a concussion right now, so this would not be the time to tell them that their brilliant son was just rejected by McGill University. WTF???
God grant me serenity…
The weather is starting to warm up, albeit, very slowly, and my dreams as of late have involved some type of personal changes. As soon as the snow melts a bit more and the sidewalks clear up further, I will begin a new ritual of exercise and walking.
I thought about this over the last few nights, because this winter has not been kind to any of us, being shut up inside has had its drawbacks. This was the image that always has been on my mind as to what I want my body to look like. I need to loose some weight and start working out again.
If you read from my list, Yani, is one of my Aussie reads and he has quite a system for his daily walks, he frequently blogs about the walk and his photography of said walks, which is a big part of his blog. So stay tuned. We shall see what the Spring brings to this blog in the coming months.
I must add that – upon completion of a new core body I will be getting another set of piercings, for my 8th sober anniversary…
“It Takes many bags of Salt to make a friend…”
in historical times, salt was expensive and used sparingly, and sharing a meal with friends was an important community activity.
What a shocker… The Matron of our home group of 17 years, turned in her keys and said her goodbyes, the dynamic in our group has shifted in a monumental way. As much as we like to say easy come, easy go, the trouble makers at our business meeting – the women who have given me heartburn and made my blood pressure rise have also decided to leave the group.
What a shocker…
There is a God up there…
Monday, March 03, 2008
Stephen Barr, a molecular virologist in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, says his team has identified a gene called TRIM22 that can block HIV infection in a cell culture by preventing the assembly of the virus.
“When we put this gene in cells, it prevents the assembly of the HIV virus,” said Barr, a postdoctoral fellow. “This means the virus cannot get out of the cells to infect other cells, thereby blocking the spread of the virus.”
Barr and his team also prevented cells from turning on the TRIM22 gene – provoking an interesting phenomenon: the normal response of interferon, a protein that co-ordinates attacks by genes like TRIM22 against viral infections, became useless at blocking HIV infection.
“This means that TRIM22 is an essential part of our body’s ability to fight off HIV. The results are very exciting because they show that our bodies have a gene that is capable of stopping the spread of HIV.”
One of the greatest challenges in battling HIV is the virus’ ability to mutate and evade medications. Antiretroviral drugs introduced during the late 1990s interfere with HIV’s ability to produce new copies of itself – and though beneficial, the drugs are unable to eradicate the virus. Barr and his team have discovered a gene that could potentially do the job naturally.
“There are always newly emerging drug-resistant strains of HIV so the push has been to develop more natural means of blocking the virus. The discovery of this gene, which is natural in our cells, might provide a different avenue,” said Barr. “The gene prevents the assembly of the virus so in the future the idea would be to develop drugs or vaccines that can mimic the effects of this gene.”
“We are currently trying to figure out why this gene does not work in people infected with HIV and if there is a way to turn this gene on in those individuals,” he added. “We hope that our research will lead to the design of new drugs, or vaccines that can halt the person-to-person transmission of HIV and the spread of the virus in the body, thereby blocking the onset of AIDS.”
The researchers are now investigating the gene’s ability to battle other viruses.
Barr’s research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. The findings are published in the Public Library of Science Pathogens.
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The Guards’ Report
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
40 days has come and go, and what can we say about our time in the desert? What have we learned on our journey this year and what have we learned about ourselves? What did God change in us, and what was needing to be changed? And how did your life change over the last 40 days?
There wasn’t much that I needed to give up for Lent. I did spend a good deal of time each day praying and meditating, where ever and whenever. Taking set time out each day to sit and write for you was a kind of meditation. I attended services during this Lenten period. I asserted myself into my community. I became one of many. I worshiped with my community as was requested of me. If you are going to write about us, you need to be part of us so that you can have a fuller experience of Christian community.
I have spent this term reading my bible every day, something that has changed the way I pray every day. My Christian Spirituality class has helped my in ways I may not have mentioned before or even thought about until now.
We live in such an analytical world where we spend so much time decoding the codes, analyzing the situations, and trying to find the hidden meanings of things that we miss the real truth staring us right in the face. We spend too much time talking about what we want to do, what we should do, and how we should do it, that we never really get down to acting on what we speak of.
I worked on my amends list. I set an amends in motion to someone I thought I needed to reconnect with and that person has yet to reply to my letter so I don’t expect anything from it at this time. I am still working in my community as I have for the last seven years, we lost a few people in my home group over these last few weeks, and a loss is a loss no matter the reason. Our long term member ratio is falling.
Have you shared with your fellow on the road? Did you Give Big? Were you stingy with anything that you had when it came to offering assistance to anyone you came in contact with? Did you not speak when you should have? Did you do all that you could have to help fellow pilgrims on the road with you? Did you share your time, talent and treasure with everyone you had to opportunity to do so with? What did you learn about them, and what did you learn about yourself?
And now with Lent behind us, what are you going to do now???
“A few years ago God challenged me to be in prayer more than I talk about prayer. If you’re someone who talks about prayer a lot, I challenge you to the same thing. When you find yourself in a discussion about prayer, stop, and pray for a longer amount of time than you talked about it. When someone asks you to pray for them, do it there and then, rather than waiting until later and opening yourself up to the possibility of forgetting. If you struggle praying… start! If you can pray for 2 minutes today, and do the same thing for the week, chances are by the end of the week you will be able to pray for 4!
Prayer transforms our lives, and creates opportunities for us to see God at work. If you really love God as much as you say you do, you would take the time to talk with him as you do any of the other people in your life who you enjoy being around.”
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Mary Magdalene came back to Jesus’ tomb in the dark of early morning of the first day of the week. She is grief-stricken without the light of her life. Her heart searches for his presence. In Matthew the day arrives dramatically for her and the other women. As the earth quakes an angel rolls away the stone, sits on it, and from his radiance announces: “Do not be afraid!” [Jesus] is not here, for he has been raised just as he said” (Matt 25:5-6). Mary and the women believe and are sent to announce the good news to the others, meeting Jesus on the way.
Belief in Jesus risen and with is may have come to us in some dramatic episode pointing to a presence beyond the ordinary — an “earthquake or angel” moment in our lives. It may have come through an “empty tomb” realization — some letting go of a lost dream or love that made way for us to open to the transcendent mystery of the risen Christ’s Spirit within us. Or the good news of that presence may have been passed on to us by women and men who believed — our fathers and mothers, our Christian community.
Today we renew our baptismal commitment to believe in Jesus risen and with us, even though we do not see him. Christ is a hidden presence; our lives are “hidden with [him] in God” (Col 3:3)
Take time to remember how you came to believe. Rejoice in Christ’s hidden presence within you and pray for his Spirit to “clear out the old yeast” of sin and doubt, and make you and all into a “fresh batch of dough” (1Cor 5:7).
Jeff Buttle reacts after skating a personal-best program to take the men’s world title.
(Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)
Canada’s Jeff Buttle captured his first world title in style, blowing away the rest of
the men’s field Saturday at the world figure skating championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.The 25-year-old from Smooth Rock Falls, Ont., put on a personal-best performance in the final to beat out defending world champion Brian Joubert of
France by a whopping 14 points. American Johnny Weir was third.
“It’s always been my dream to be world champion,” said Buttle, a world silver
medallist in 2005 and an Olympic bronze medallist in 2006. “I can’t believe it’s
Buttle came into the free skate with the lead after placing first in Friday’s short
program. The three-time Canadian champion posted 163.07 points in the final to
give him an overall total of 245.17, also a personal best.
Toronto’s Patrick Chan dropped two positions to ninth, finishing his first world championship with 203.55 points.
Buttle is the first Canadian man to win the world title since Elvis Stojko in 1997.
He was slowed by a back injury last season, and just last month he finished second to Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi — Saturday’s fourth-place finisher — at the Four Continents championship.
But Buttle skated brilliantly Saturday. Though he didn’t do a quadruple jump, he did three clean combinations for a total of eight triple jumps. He had great speed, whimsical footwork and performed with an energy and lightness that reflected the confidence he’s carried during these championships.
Buttle was grinning when he came off the ice, telling his coach, “just like at home.” When the marks went up and showed he was the winner, Buttle’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped.
“It’s been such a great week for me,” Buttle said. “It doesn’t even feel real yet. It hasn’t sunk in.”
Joubert’s finish was impressive, considering he was sixth after the short program. The Frenchman has had a tough season, missing most of the Grand Prix series because of a strength-sapping virus. But he was mesmerizing Saturday. He opened with a quad and did seven triples, and showed he will be a force to be reckoned with next year.
With files from the Canadian Press
Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!
My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,
that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!
This is our passover feast,
When Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night,
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slav’ry,
and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night,
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.
This is night,
when Christians ev’rywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night,
when Jesus broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”
The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed,
when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled to God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.
Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
There are many scripture readings for tonights Vigil Celebration:
Gen 1:1-2:2 , 1:1, 26-31, 22:1-18, 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18 Exod 14: 15-15, Isa 54:5-14, Isa 55:1-11, Bar 3:9-15, 3:2-4:4, Ezek 36:16-17, 18-28, Rom 6:3-11
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
I quite prefer this reading of the Gospel story over Matthew from today’s reading. Because it speaks of the exchange between Mary Magdalene and Jesus on Easter Morning.
The Empty Tomb
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
This is the night, that we recall the readings from the Old Testament, the stories of creation, the Exodus of the Jews from Israel and all the major readings that carry such great importance to us as Christians. We listen to these readings and we imagine ourselves back in those times, when God created the Heavens and the Earth, and we are with the Jews as the choirs sing “Go Down, Moses, tell ole pharoah, Let my People Go!!!”
Holy Saturday is best spent in quiet or subdued activity. The great mystery of the Triduum is beyond our comprehension or adequate response. We wait in expectant hope. Though we know that Christ has risen, there is a powerful ritual way of entering more fully into his Passover through death to life in the Easter Vigil tonight.
As we listen with the ears of our expanding hearts and respond in song to the stories of our creation and re-creation, our path to freedom, as we hear and feel the refreshing water of new life and open to the baptismal Spirit stirring in our embodied spirits, as we eat and drink the bread and wine of Christ’s body and blood with loving heart in union with all our sisters and brothers, we will be passing over in Christ to a richer renewed life in his Spirit.
“This is the night,” as we will hear in the Exsultet, the night that “will be clear as day..” The night that “dispels all evil … brings mourners joy… cast out hatred, bring us peace.” The night “when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled to God..” Our hearts leap up in “the joy of this night” believing in Christ, the Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind.”
No matter who we are, what we have done or not done during Lent or during our lifetime, this is the night to rejoice. Winter is over and gone; spring has come in all its fullness. God in Christ is victorious over sin and death. In Christ we are reconciled and will live forever. Alleluia!
As you go about your duties and interests today, let go of any anxiety-producing thoughts and drop plans to get involved in any more than you need to. As you become aware of thoughts pulling you away from your inner quiet, say calmly in your heart, “In you, O God, my soul is at rest; all my hope is in you.”
When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Jesus Taken to Annas
Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Peter’s First Denial
Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in. “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter.
He replied, “I am not.”
It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
A world in which God who is infinite Love becomes human not only to be like us, but to be one of us, and then in rejected, betrayed, mocked, derided, tortured, and finally crucified seems a strange world indeed — one that makes no sense by our usual standards. The thought of it brings us to silence. Jesus is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah whose appearance “startle[d] many nations,” caused “kings …[to] stand speechless.” We are told there is noting about his appearance that would attract us to him. He was a “man of suffering” held “in no esteem” (Isa 52:13-15, 53:2-3). But this is the world we live in, the world we make.
In Jesus’ historical life on earth God experienced human nature at its best and worst. Christ alive in our family, friends, and local and global neighbors still experience that — they are often recipients of our kindness, but also often the brunt of our antagonistic attitudes and behavior.
When rejected and tortured in his historical life and now, Christ did not and does not return evil for evil. He accepts us just the way we are. Knowing our basic goodness he patiently endures our belligerence, offering loving forgiveness in return. That deep love of his Holy Spirit frees us, even the meanest and cruelest, through the realization that we are loved just as we are.
Christ’s love always embraces us from within, and many times through loved ones or strangers around us. So loved, we become free to share generously the material, emotional, and spiritual goods of life. There is enough for all. We do not have to compete, dominate, hoard, and kill to get what we need.
This is a mystery, the mystery of the Holy Spirit poured out in Jesus’ dying and rising transforming our world. We cannot fully understand exactly how it is all working out, but we trust that it is. And we bow our heads in silent awe.
Meditation: Scan your heart and the daily newspaper. Note the suffering, love, and goodness reported there. Take time and find a quiet place for prayer. Welcome Christ into your presence. Read slowly today’s scripture passage. Stop and pray with whatever words or sentences tough you.
The Triduum starts tonight, the three day march towards Easter beginning with Maundy Thursday. Lent ends Holy Thursday evening. Triduum begins with celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday and ends with Easter Evening Prayer. These three days are one ritual celebration of the paschal mystery. Liturgies during this time are not historical re-enactments of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, but our celebrations of those events are now lived in our lives.
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. after that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
Jesus loved his own to the end of his life on earth, and to the utmost, that is, giving everything, which in his case is undying, infinite live. Knowing death was near Jesus gathered his disciples to share a meal. That evening he showed us in a humble, simple way the extent of the love he would pour out fully in death. During supper, according to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus, the host, identifies the bread he breaks and the wine he pours as his body and blood given for his disciples and us.
John’s Jesus also takes the part of a servant, humbly rising from the table to wash his disciples’ tired, dirty, calloused feet. Peter was embarrassed, but Jesus was unashamed to take basin and towel and attend tenderly to every pedestrian bunion, hammertoe, bruise, and cut. Loving to the end for Jesus means freely pouring out his infinitely loving Spirit through the practical gestures of washing and feeding. These are simple and deep signs of his total gift of bodily life for us.
Now Christ continues to serve and feed us through his risen life in us. Christ lives and lives in Eucharist and in daily life. We receive and give that love as we prepare and serve meals, wash feet, wash clothes, clean and bandage wounds, share our bread, our affection, our compassion — and our raspberries — with our companions. Divine love is embodied in our humble actions.
Meditation: Today welcome all the simple gifts of love — food, drink, a kind look, a gentle touch — with genuine gratitude. Give all your humble gifts of bread, wine, housework, and kind words in union with Christ and with his intention of loving to the end.
It has been a most trying time in our home as of late. The ending of the Winter term is just two weeks away, I have a 12 page paper to write for Christian spirituality, thank God most of it is already written here. My Introduction to Theology class has become a nightmare with a professor flying by the seat of her pants, and tonight after a guest lecturer she dropped a bomb on us that something was wrong and that we would be informed as to what will be occurring in the next two weeks. Needless to say that 100 students are shaking their heads wondering why they ever took the class to begin with.
Over a month ago hubby sent his application to McGill for his Master’s Study in the Department of Communications. Living with a bi-polar person has its drawbacks and for the last two weeks we’ve been living in a ticking time bomb of a situation that really was coming to a head and this morning that head came to pass.
I was awoken with a knock at the door, we were not expecting anyone and it must be a door to door salesman, I was surprised when someone from Hydro Quebec was standing outside the door telling hubby that they were going to turn our power off for failure to pay the $600.00 balance on our account. Hubby has been cycling at 100 mph for the last two weeks and he was short on patience and I had more than once over the last few days tried to diffuse his anxiety and impatience and I failed at trying to stop his meltdown that came this morning.
He took off out the door and was on top of this guy like a hawk on prey. It was not pretty and he was swearing and yelling at this guy who only wanted payment in some form or fashion. I was sitting at this desk, which is adjacent to the front door and I grabbed the checkbook and started writing out a check for money we don’t even have in the bank.
I was terribly frightened when I realized that hubby had not paid one penny to the account in over six months, and the Hydro bill is on his checking account online, this was not news to me because I saw the $600.00 bill come through the mail, and I assumed that he had been making payments to the account since winter began, well, I was wrong!!!
The law states here that Hydro cannot turn off your power during the winter because many homes here are heated by electric power which we have as well. Along with my own issues and working with my kids and writing to others in my little circle here, I have tried to detach from hubby’s insanity and tried to remain serene and calm, all the while, hubby has been spinning around the apartment like a tazmanian devil spinning at 100 mph…
My little calm eye of the storm came to heads with my violently screaming husband this morning, needless to say, that was how today began. I handed the man his check that was post dated for the first of the month for $200.00 which means I start next month with a deficit of $200.00, and all the bills will have to come afterwards. Not to mention the rent.
Hubby headed to class without one word to me, and I went back to bed for a couple hours of more sleep which failed me in the end, I was so upset that I got up and ruminated over how I was going to handle this situation later in the day.
I had to meet Ms. Nikki for coffee and we talked this through so that I could get off my chest what I needed to so that I could bring some resolution to this cycle this evening. We had a guest lecturer which Ms. Nikki was coming with me to see, a fellow priest whom we are both friends with. We got the “union” bombshell by the chair of the department and now we are all in a holding pattern as to how this class is going to conclude with hopefully passing grades for all of us who are on this roller coaster ride from hell.
I got home, and the phone rang, it was one of my kids calling to talk, and that is how the night progressed. Thank God for small miracles, I didn’t have to deal with the wreckage from earlier in the day, so I logged onto my messenger and we spoke for over an hour, I did not say one word to hubby and he did not say one word to me either. Although after Big Brother, he cooked us dinner and we ate in total silence…
I did not bring up the morning melt down and he did not bring it up either, and so that is where I left it. Unspoken about… I just did not think it wise to close the night with another argument about his attitude, excessive expectations and his arrogant attitude as of late. I don’t have the patience to reiterate what I’ve been saying to him for weeks, like stay in your day, let go and let God and just relax for God’s sakes…
Oh the joys of living with a Bi-Polar nut case.
I can understand his feelings that he is brilliant in his manic state. And he is, but when he cycles, he cannot stop from coming full circle emotionally, and I been watching him cycle faster and faster and I worked to encourage him and to remind him that he has to keep his feet on the ground and not allow his manic state to run riot over him, which in the end it did.
He knows that other students, less intelligent than him are getting acceptance letters from school all over the province and some from other schools in other areas of the country, and he is angry that it is taking the admissions process this long to send him his letter of acceptance.
This admission to McGill is a demon exorcising action, from his drinking past, because once he was a musical prodigy studying music at McGill when he was a lot younger and he flunked out when he started drinking. So there are many layers to what is going on here right now, and I am powerless to stop what is going on and I can’t move it ahead any faster than it is moving. We make plans and the best laid plans are just that plans. We make plans and God laughs…
His attitude sucks, his “better than anyone else” complex has gotten the best of him and over the last week he has transformed into a really ugly person that I don’t even know. And I don’t want to know, so I have tried to stay detached from this monster doing what I do every day following my routine and making sure I am spiritually aware of everything going on around me so that I don’t get sucked into the maelstrom.
It’s 2:30 in the morning and I am sitting here writing listening to 80′s music, thank God for silence and small miracles. So that’s what’s going on in my little world tonight. If you feel up to it, rifle a few prayers my way, would you… I could use them about right now…
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Jesus Walks on the Water
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel describes Judas’ path of betrayal in a little more detail. Jesus’ exposure of the treacherous plot stuns the Twelve. s Jesys “reclined at table” with them and began to speak about it, each of “the Twelve,” not only Judas, began second-guessing himself, wondering if he was the one! They were “deeply distressed” as night was coming on, this night which was to be one of the darkest in their lives.
Uneasy lest they be construed as betrayers, doubting themselves, needing reassurance from Jesus that he did not think that they had somehow let him down, all, not only Judas, protest, “Surely it is not I, Lord.”
There is no turning the clock back now. All the general dissatisfaction, rejection, dislike, and hatred dumped on Jesus, all the ill will aimed at him in the attacks he previously dodged, have now gained momentum and been set into unstoppable motion with the help of an insider in Jesus’ intimate circle. There is for Jesus, and for his loyal followers, nothing left to do but face the coming devastation, death and desolation.
Like the Suffering Servant of today’s first reading from the book of Isaiah, Jesus trusts God as his help, and “set[s] his face like flint,/knowing that [he] shall not be put to shame” (Isa 50:70). Jesus trusts beyond reason, beyond feeling, that this time of terrible defeat and suffering, as we read in yesterdays’ gospel selection, is the time when “the son of man [is] glorified, and God is glorified in him” (John 13:31). Concerned for his friends who are gathered with him he forewarns then about his death, “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.” (John 13:33).
We are not required to subject ourselves to unnecessary suffering. But there are some things we cannot avoid. In those “nights” the glorified Christ who lives within us in his Spirit beyond feeling, beyond reason, is our help and our guide. Sustained by this grace we can, like Jesus, walk into the night, our faces “set like flint,” while our hearts remain supple and open as God glorifies us in him.
Meditation: Is there any way in which you are being asked to take courage in hand, accept and walk into some night of suffering or uncertainty in your life now?
“Be still, and know that I am God. I shall be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One.”
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And you should love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”
BE … STILL … AND … KNOW …
You can find the original thought for this post at “The Junky’s Wife” from yesterday’s post she put up. She amazes me and I write to her often sharing prayers and wisdom with her, and she said she wanted to learn how to pray and meditate more, and I wrote to her last night that you can do that at any time of the day. She likes Yoga, so I suggested that she practice this Mantra: Be Still And Know… In with the breath, out with the breath…
Now you know that I cannot make a suggestion to someone without putting into practice that which I offer right? I read today’s Lenten reflection before my coffee date this afternoon and I was able to apply that reading for my day. To understand and be compassionate and most importantly, to listen to what was said to me today.
Being present is just as important as listening.
If your mind wanders when someone is talking to you, then you are not fully present are you? We set off for the meeting and I started to set up the chairs as usual. And I meditated while I did this, every chair I sat down, [ Be ] [Still] [And] [Know]… I did that for the entire room. Let’s say I dropped 50 chairs down I said my mantra to myself and to God as I worked in quiet. I felt calm, I felt serene, and I felt centered.
Today’s topic was patience. Patience for things that take time.
I am always amazed when I think about people who’s lives I am invested in, and the progress that they have made and the things that they have taught me about myself. AS Lent comes to a close we will gather and reflect on the last 40 days to see just how we have changed and what we have learned about each other and of ourselves.
The Junky’s wife has come into her own, she found her voice and he inner woman, she found her identity and she found God. And I’ve been involved with some sort of spiritual direction over the last few months and she has become such a beautiful woman dealing with her hubby who is a heroine junky, and we pray that he reaches the end of his using sooner than later. The remarkable thing is that through adversity, the junky’s wife has found a voice of patience and tolerance to a degree. She has taught me more about patience in her own special way. And I am better a man for being blessed to be part of her journey.
I’ve worked on patience over the last seven years of sobriety. Not getting caught in the expectation, resentment rat cycle. While people around me are screaming mad and insane, I cam remain the calm eye in the middle of the storm, and I hope some calming influence on them.
Hubby has been waiting for his acceptance letter from McGill University for his Master’s Degree and he is high on the hog with expectation and worry and sitting in the same room as he, while he ruminates over his either acceptance or failure to be accepted, makes me a little hairy and unnerved. But I remain committed to staying as serene as I can, while he rotates at 100 clicks a minute. Bi-polar people are like that, once they get wound up they usually stay there in fixation mode until they either fail or tire of it. He is not truly appreciating staying in the moment and in his day, however hard I try to impress this on him on a daily basis.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference
Grant me patience with things that take time
Appreciation for all that I have
Tolerance for those with different struggles
And the strength to get up and try once again
One day at a time…
John 13:21-33, 36-38
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
“What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
“He had a face…[H]e had a man’s face, a human face.” With these poignant words Frederick Buechner begins his reflections on Jesus’ life in his beautiful book, The Life of Jesus. Through sensitive words and the masterpieces reproduced in this volume, we see Jesus in the diverse, beautiful, and moving ways artists over the centuries have imagined and portrayed him.
Jesus had a face; he had feelings. “Reclining at table with his disciples” for what he probably knew was his last meal with them, “Jesus was deeply troubled…” (John 13:21). At this Passover meal, a time to celebrate spring and liberation from slavery, Jesus’ heart was heavy. He was weighed down by all the verbal attacks and rejection he had been experiencing from authorities and people scorning his message of God’s loving intervention in history in him. He also knew that one if his inner circle of friends was betraying him.
Think of times you were at a celebratory meal with family or friends but filled with some deep dread — something not appropriate for you to share at this festive time, something you could perhaps never fully express to another. Maybe you, like Jesus, were going to be charged with a crime, or fired, or divorced. Maybe you were overwhelmed by opposition or failure at work. Your spouse had just been diagnosed with cancer but not yet ready to talk about it. The delicious meal was like ashes in your mouth. Only with great effort were you able to enter into the conversation and celebration.
Jesus had a face like ours, feelings like ours. Anxiety, depression, fear, resistance, isolation, and doubt would have been part of his experience at this meal. Today, like Jesus, many are deeply troubled. Perhaps you are among them. Let us empathize with one another. Today Jesus’ face is their face, your face — each of our faces. With grace we can be compassionate and respectful. We never know fully what others may suffer.
Meditation: Call to mind someone you will see today. Remember that s/he may be experiencing challenges, burdens, and feelings of which you are not aware. Your understanding, patience, good word, or silent prayer may be just what they need.