Weepers – Good News for April 6

6 04 2010

John 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”

When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.

Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.

The Daily Path: Mary is so wrapped up in her loss that she doesn’t recognize the fact that Jesus is standing right there in her presence. It’s good that she is grieving. So often we don’t fully grieve a loss in our life. Sometimes we hold on to that special friend or family member without ever saying goodbye and moving on. The same is true with other life changes, such as aging, job loss or status. Of course, we want to cherish the memories, but we can’t be bound by them, lest we become overwhelmed and lose sight of our journey.

I have experienced this in my own life. In fact, I’m still grieving a life change that has had deep impacts on me and my family. I’ve sat outside my tomb, or perhaps within it, weeping over my loss and the comforts/prestige I had come to know. The good news is that I’m finally letting go. And it is indeed the good news. Do you know how this return to life is coming about? I think you may be able to guess…

I’m handing my troubles (loss) over to God.

Just as Jesus was standing with Mary in her grief, He also stands here with me. Like Mary, I couldn’t recognize this. I was only wrapped up in the pain, blinded by my tears. There is still some pain, and the tendency to try and wrestle back control of my life. But gradually I learn to trust more each day. To let go, look up, and see the way.

As Christ asked of Mary, I move on to share what I have experienced… and continue on the journey God has planned for me. He is both gardener and a God of HOPE.





Trial By Father – Good News for March 10

10 03 2010

Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

The Daily Path: My dad sent this to me yesterday. It’s a passage from Sirach 2:1-5:

My son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast undisturbed in time of adversity. Cling to Him, forsake Him not; thus will your future be great. Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient; for in fire is gold tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation. Trust in God, and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in Him.

I share this because it’s an example of how our Father in heaven worked through a father on earth. I won’t go into the why, but let’s just say I was suffering from a case of heavy heart and felt overwhelmed by uncertainty. Sound familiar? I know… we all find those rocks in our knapsack from time to time. One of the great “Ah-Ha” moments in my journey was the realization that God knows what is in our heart. Since the beginning of time, our Father in heaven knew what was to fill my heart on March 9, 2010, and in His wisdom God put two things in my path to help lighten my load…

First He sent me among people who are facing challenges far greater than mine. (You think you have it tough, Stan? Forget about it! There is ALWAYS someone worse off than you.) How can you feel sorry for yourself when talking with a mother who lost two children in a fire that claimed not only precious life, but also took away every bit of security and dignity the family had previously known? Don’t even bother. You can’t.

But God wasn’t done. He also knew that I needed to understand more about what was in my heart. So He inspired my father on earth to care for me. Dad sent me a note to offer encouragement. In it, he included the passage from Sirach.

A father working through a father to care for his son. Amazing! Yes, there will be trials in my life through which I’ll be tested again and again. Like everyone else, I must persevere if I’m to get home. But yesterday I was given another amazing glimpse at the wonder of God. And with this understanding comes greater hope for the journey ahead.

Room to Chat: Thank you Father(s). I may be in the deep end of the pool, but I know you won’t let me drown.





On Second Thought – Good News for December 15

15 12 2009

Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.

The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

The Daily Path: I had second thoughts. It took me thirty years to change my mind, but it happened. Each day offers me new opportunities to listen and accept what is being asked of me. Sometimes I still don’t listen and find myself unable to see, but strive to circle back when the light finally goes on. Practice, practice, practice…

Room to Chat: Lord, thank you for the miracles you continue to reveal in my life. You are the light of hope.





Looking Forward – Good News for October 27

27 10 2009

St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:18, 24-25

The sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For in hope we were saved. Not hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Luke 13:18-21

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

The Daily Path: Today’s passages offer a little refreshment for those of us who are weary. Especially we who are spending too much time with eyes looking down at the potholes in the road… instead of looking ahead at the outstretched arms of Our Father in Heaven.

Room to Chat: Lord, kindle the flame of hope within me.

our_lady2





Hope Along The Way – Good News for May 28

28 05 2009

John 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying, “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.

And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

The Daily Path: Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (Psalms 16:11)





Get Off My Back! – Good News for April 30

30 04 2009

John 6:44-51

Jesus said to the crowds, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”

The Daily Path: Do you ever feel like the devil is riding your back? I guess it’s my week to do battle because there seems to be a hitchhiker who’s been tailing me since Monday. Maybe if I hit the brakes it will smash into my trunk for an ambulance ride back to hell.  

Stan Doubtsall: “Ah ha! Martha, the cracker is finally admitting he’s possessed. Quick, Google “exorcisms” before the devil virus infects this old PC! Damn, I told you we should have bought an Apple.”

Sorry Stan. I just write what I feel along this journey. And right now it feels like the devil is messing with me. There’s only one defense and that’s a counter attack. Spending more time in pursuit of God. More bread from Jesus. Lord if you don’t mind, I’d like two loaves of your grace today. Please put a smile in my heart and infuse more faith, hope, charity, prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice in me. 

I renounce you old satan… so get off my back!

Room to Chat: Lord Jesus, I know I’m not worthy to receive you but please just say the word and let the healing begin.





The Enduring Hope – Good News for January 20

20 01 2009

Hebrews 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters: God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones. We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

When God made the promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you. And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.

Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves; for them an oath serves as a guarantee and puts an end to all argument. So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose, he intervened with an oath, so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

The Daily Path: Today, as Barrack Obama takes the oath of office as President of the United States, we will hear volumes about hope. It may be the day when a record for single greatest use of the word “hope” is achieved. In thinking about the new hope this country will embrace over the next four years, it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the enduring hope that we are reminded of in this passage. The hope offered by God. A hope that is iron clad and offered to all who will embrace it. The one true hope guaranteed to last long after this president, or any who will follow, has left office. 

Room to Chat: “Abba” is an Aramaic word that means “father”. It was the word used by Jesus and St. Paul in the Gospel to refer to God, the Almighty Father, the God of Abraham. Today, when you hear the word “hope”, embrace the enduring hope offered by God by saying this simplest of all prayers: “Abba”