Archive for February, 2013

Following Jesus

February 27, 2013

Mt. 20:17-28

 
People are often surprised when they have heard of me having “enemies”, and there are those who “hate” me–after all I feed people.  But the reality is in the darkness of the human mind when we stand for what we believe–we stir up hate, anger, doubt–and on my body I bare scars, and in my mind I bare scars from that hatred. But for me I am slowly letting go of my attachment to being liked, loved by everyone, and the center of attention and realize that my calling is simply to journey with Jesus until my life ends, trusting in him–leaving it all to him, and him alone. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
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Fear Not

February 26, 2013
Mt. 23:1-12  Luke 5:1-11
 
The words of Jesus ring out against a temple that is corrupt; From all sides I hear about the evil of church leaders, and never about the one’s who are Christ to people. I have a friend who sends out emails continually about all the sins of the Church, but not one word about the good that more of us do. Jesus calls us to transform where we are–little by little.  “The Kingdom of God is within us,” and we are called to magnify that Kingdom around us-that is what I try to do.
 
Use centering prayer and focus on the words of Jesus, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 5:10)==center in, and feel God’s presence

February 24, 2013

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Saturday, Feb. 23/Sunday Feb. 24  and luke 4==our focus

Matt. 5:23-48 and Lk. 9:29-38

Enemies are not to be hated, but to be understood–once we understand why they act and function the way they do our hearts are open to caring for them without grudge or hatred.  We can recognize our shared humanity and Rumi tells us to “be friends with our burning”,  for me I have become friends with my sexuality, my past, and with the life I live–I can live life joyfully, and yet “burn” sometimes for others, accepting myself.  That is what Jesus did in Luke 4–he is friends with “the burning”.

The Transfiguration and the story of Jesus in his hometown are examples of one having “sovereingty” over their lives–when you listen to your inner authority and are at home with your inner authority you come to a place of trust.  He trusted himself, and that is what i do in my work, all the time, and that is what Jesus calls each of us to do–to have a sense of who we are and move from there.

The primary principle of spiritual work is to let go of the knowing and move to the unknown–stand in the unknowing.  I do that all the time, I have stood in not knowing my next move–trusting, trusting in Jesus–and even though it is not easy I find my way, that is the what Jesus did in his hometown. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

February 22, 2013
Feast of the Chair of St. Peter  Mt. 16: 13-19  Luke 4: 18-24
 
Jesus read from the text of Isa, “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon me, ” as you read the text you will see the people became angry–angry because he included every one in who was to receive the good news–not just the Jews, the Americans, but everyone–think in your own life inclusive you are–can you include your enemies, people you do not like–pray about this today using the centering method.
 
Today is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter and for me it reminds me how grateful I am for the symbolic rememberance ot the passing on of the Gospel through the apostles and the church.  The core of our belief was saved and transmitted to us through the ages, beginning with those early apostles.
 
To take up one’s cross and follow Christ is in parallel fashion to act in accordance with one’s lights, to be faithful to one’s true self; it is to carry out the will of God, enduring patiently the trials that this must necessarily involve. These are the terms in which our lord’s passion and death are expressed in their most authoritative formulation. – Dom Aelred Graham, Zen Catholicism – (What trials are you encountering at this time in life? How can accepting them patiently and with integrity be a sharing in Christ’s cross?)

I was told by a professor in college that I would walk a painful path because of my faithfulness to my true self–for me that is the cross–being faithful to what I believe. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Lenten Retreat Conference 4 Jesus: The Messianic Prophet

February 22, 2013
I. Personal Reflection:  How do the words of Luke 4:18-21 apply to me?  How has the Spirit of God “anonted” me? What has God asked me to do and proclaim in my life and ministry? What is God asking now?  Notice that the reason the people became angry with Jesus is he called God’s Spirit upon everyone, not just the Jews.  So who are your enemies and do you really want God to save them as God saves you?
 
2. Reflective Meditation: Reread the account of Jesus preaching to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30). Reflect carefully on the meaning of each sentence of this story, esp. the words of Jesus.
 
3. Imaginative Contemplation: Imagine yourself with Jesus that day in the synagogue of Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30). Hear what he says to all the people present. Notice how everyone reacts to him. What does he say to you in particular and how do you react to him?
 
4. Centering Prayer: Start with the phrase “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me” (Luke 4:18); progressively simplify this until you focus only on the word “anointed” (or “spirit” or “Lord” or another word significant for you.
 
Take one each day, spend time with the Gospel and simply focus and meditate, journal.

Ask and You Shall Receive

February 21, 2013
Mt. 7:7-12 “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, . .”
 
Reflection on John the Baptist: How am I called to be a prophet?  Gerald May wrote:
Love finds no steady home in psychological health. I am sure God wants us to be whole and healthy in every way possible, but love neitherdepends upon these things nor ends with them. In fact, blessings sometimes come through brokenness that could never come in any other way. – Gerald May, The Awakened Heart
(How have you been blessed in your brokenness? How has brokenness helped you to discover love in new ways?)
 
 
Take a few moments and breathe calmly, attentively, in and out. Focus on the Holy Spirit within you, enlivening you each moment, with each breath and center on your brokeness.
 
Only in my brokeness and the pain from that can I serve others, it is in my cracks, and their scars can I be receptive to others. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Repent–The Second Chance

February 20, 2013
Jonah 3:1-10; Lk. 11:289
9-32,  Luke 3:21-22
A popular idiom warns us that “opportunity knocks at the door once.” But not so with God. Our God is a God of second chances and many more. The people of Ninevah took advantage of that. And I have taken advantage of that–when I was kicked out of a mainline church for being queer, God gave me another opportunity, an opportunity in which I have served more people then I could have ever imagined–God is a God of the second chances. Today imagine yourself present with Jesus as he approaches John at the river Jordan (Luke 3:21-22). Hear God also say to you: “You are my beloved child with you I am well pleased.”  How does this heavenly voice make you feel, how do you  wish to respond to God?”  In your mind place yourself at the Jordan, look around you, be in the moment, and hear the voice. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Forgive and be Forgiven

February 19, 2013
Mt. 6:7-15  “The Lord’s Prayer
 
John the Baptist called people to repentence, and Jesus summarized his message simply, “forgive others as you would have them forgive you.”  We will receive forgiveness of our sins only and when we forgive those who have wronged us, the same is in when I hear a confession–confess, admit your wrong, receive and give forgiveness.  Reread the story of John the Baptist preaching to the people at the river Jordan (Luke 3:1-20) Reflect deeply upon each phrase and each word–take your time.  and remember the words of Mother Teresa during this time:
 
Joy is prayer – Joy is strength – Joy is love – Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen. – Mother Teresa – (Let the joy of the Lord be your strength this day. Invite the Spirit to awaken awareness of Christ’s joy within you.)

 

Unto the Least of Them

February 18, 2013
Luke 1-2  Mt. 25: 31-46
 
I hear people talking about who has a “viable ministry”, and it turns my stomach, because how are we to judge?  I have been asked “Why do you need to be a priest to do what you do?”  Jesus is quite clear: The reign of God is about love without measure”.  You do that, no matter what you believe or do not believe your ministry is valid.  I like to take time each day and  center in on Scripture and the Magnficat is a beautiful verse to center on: Lk. 1:46-55-Center in on the words, and let God lead you into a ministry to the “least of our brothers and sisters”
 
 
When we enter a place of solitude, all the things that seemed so important to us recede in significance; what is truly important emerges into clarity. It is difficult to imagine any real breakthroughs without a solitary element in one’s spiritual life. – Wayne Teasdale, The Mystic Heart
(What role does solitude play in your life? What treasures might be awaiting you there?)

We Are Beggars

February 16, 2013
Luke 1-2  (Lk. 5:27-32)
 
We are all born, and with our birth there is much joy and expectation.  What will this baby become?  We live our lives out in all of its journey, like Jay, 19, who is gay, dad in military, mother a nurse, and he has been kicked out because of his sexulaity, struggling, with what he is going to do, how he is going to survive–from joy to struggle, as all of our lives go. Jesus was born and his path led to calvary. Look at the Magnificate: Luke 1:46-55 and reflect upon deeply upon each word and each phase of biblical text, and in context of our lectionary reading today reflect upon the words of D.T. Miles: “Evangelism is just one beggar tellingt another beggar where to find bread,” recognizing our shared humanity with others and our common “beggarhood” before God. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!