Not Just Coin – Good News for November 22

22 11 2010

Luke 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

The Daily Path: We can give from our wallet or we can give of ourselves. Certainly both types of giving are needed. Jesus points to monetary giving in this example but I think the message is broader than just coin. I’ve found that “being there” for someone in a time of great need can provide incalculable value. I’ve been on the receiving side and can tell you from my own experience that when things seem darkest receiving a note from a friend, an invitation for coffee, or a friendly call, can dig you out of the depths like nothing else. This type of genuine outreach keeps you going when the weight of the world feels squarely on your shoulders.

This week, as we prepare to gather as family and give thanks, perhaps it’s time to think about making one of those calls. Who can we share our spiritual wealth with? Who’s feeling alone or bearing the great weight of worry? Who could benefit from a little joy? Friends, I think our horn of plenty comes in all shapes and sizes. See what can be shared from your pantry of love.

Kingdom Come – Good News for November 12

12 11 2009

Luke 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

The Daily Path: My oldest son is on a journey to the Holy Land with his grandfather. Yesterday, they walked the shore along the Sea of Galilee and witnessed a magnificent sunrise… just as the disciples of Christ witnessed your Son rise some two thousand years ago.

My Horn of Plenty: Father, thank you for the blessings of my son and his grandfather, who is sharing his abundance and unconditional love with his grandson.


Master of Light – Good News for November 7

7 11 2009

Luke 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?

No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

The Daily Path: Here is a reflection that I’d like to share from Fr. Richard Rohr’s book Hope Against Darkness.

“There is a darkness that we are all led into by our own stupidity, by our own selfishness, blindness, or by just living out of the false self. And there is a darkness that I believe God leads us through for our own enlightenment. In both cases, we have to walk through these dark periods by brutal honesty, confessions, surrenders, letting go, forgiveness, and often by some necessary restitution, apology or healing ritual. I still hear of Vietnam vets who feel they must go back to Vietnam and help some Vietnamese children to be healed.

Different vocabularies would have called these acts of repentance, penance, mortification, dying to self, or ego stripping. By any account it is major surgery and surely feels like dying (although it also feels like immense liberation). We need help and comfort during these times. We must let ourselves be led by God and also by others. But how can we know the light if we’ve never walked through the darkness?”

My Horn of Plenty: Having a plateful of anxiety isn’t something that I would have thought to include on my list of bountiful gifts, but perhaps it should be. As Richard Rohr shares, how can I ever know the true light without experiencing the darkness. Perhaps seeing this side of my abundance is another step towards emerging on the other side of darkness, cleansed in the light.

Room to Chat: Merciful Father, lead me through the darkness to Your light.


Guess Who Didn’t Come to Dinner – Good News for November 3

3 11 2009

Luke 14:15-24

One of those at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.”

He replied to him, “A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.

The first said to him, ‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen and am on my way to evaluate them; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have just married a woman, and therefore I cannot come.’

The servant went and reported this to his master. Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out and still there is room.’ The master then ordered the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows and make people come in that my home may be filled. For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

My Horn of Plenty: See what love the Father has bestowed on us (John 3:1) – As we enter the “holiday season” and prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord, please join me in a daily reflection on the abundance God has provided in our lives.

Father, You never closed the door on me. Instead You reached out time and again until I accepted the invitation to sit at Your feast.


Rejection Proof – Good News for November 2

2 11 2009

John 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds: “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

The Daily Path: Have you ever seen a sign posted in an establishment that reads, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone“? I’ve never seen the sign posted at the entrance to a church, although one could argue that it’s a policy for some. I’ve never seen these words hanging in anyone’s home, yet clearly that is the case.

Perhaps if we were to see Jesus on a street corner in Manhattan, San Francisco, or even Boyceville, Wisconsin, he’d be waving one of those signs designed to get our attention at an intersection. It would read: I will not reject anyone who comes to me

My Horn of Plenty: See what love the Father has bestowed on us (John 3:1) – As we enter the “holiday season” and prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord, please join me in a daily reflection on the abundance God has provided in our lives.

Lord, you have provided me with a companion on the journey who’s willing to share the burden with only love in her heart.