New You – Good News for November 10

10 11 2010

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”

As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan.

Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

The Daily Path: Excerpt from Richard Rohr’s Adult Christianity and How to Get There

For most of the people I meet, the only way to get over the hump to the second half of life is some kind of suffering.  Nothing else is strong enough to force us to let go of our ego structures and our old wineskins. We’re not ready at age twenty, although there are exceptions (like kids with cancer).

Some of our private salvation project has to fall apart and disappoint us.  At that point the temptation is to go back and do the tasks of the first half of life with even greater diligence.

Organized Christianity in its Sunday form tends to encourage people to do the tasks of the first half of life over and over again (firming up the container instead of getting to the contents).  The clergy do not question this because the container is what gives us a job.  But it is also why many people become disillusioned by midlife, and also why we have the constant phenomenon of groups emerging on the side, like religious orders, hermits, and prayer and service groups where people actually try to live the message.

Days of Faith and Healing – Good News for June 26

26 06 2010

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”

He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: “Only say the word…”

“If it is your will…”

The past two days we have read about the incredible faith in God held by two men. Let’s remember the leper and the centurion as we travel the path before us.

Room to Chat: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

A Cleansing – Good News for January 14

14 01 2010

Mark 1:40-45

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Room to Chat: Keep all who are suffering as a result of the earthquake in Haiti close within your thoughts and prayers. May the rescue workers find infinite strength and courage in the hours ahead. From this darkness a great light may come to shine on a troubled land.

Loving First – Good News for October 11

11 10 2009

Mark 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.”

He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell,and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”

The Daily Path: There are other teachings in this passage, but one that leaps of the page for me is this: “Jesus, looking at him, loved him…” Here’s yet another human who is so attached to his possessions that even when the Savior himself invites the man give these things up him and follow Him… the man can’t. But even in the moment of human failing Jesus still loves him!

Imagine walking into your boss and having him explain the exact process through which you will succeed. But you shake your head, say “No, I can’t do that”, and walk out.” 99.99% of the time, this person is NOT going to love you. But Jesus overlooked this shortfall and loved the man anyway. WOW! Another example of Christ’s perfect love for us, no matter how we fail every day.

Room to Chat: Friends, I have missed a few days with you. On Thursday past, my mom (Claire) was rushed to hospital with what was believed to be a heart episode. It turns out she has blood clots in her lungs that were causing symptoms very similar to a heart attack. She is undergoing treatment from a fine medical staff who are taking every precaution due to complications related to the four tumors that exist in her head. Prayers have been flowing in from an amazing network of friends and family from around the country.

On the night she was to receive The Fr. Damien Award for a life of service to her parish, she was in a hospital bed. She has never been one to savor the limelight, instead choosing to work quietly behind the scenes. In fact, it was reluctantly that she even agreed to accept this year’s award. She’s touched many lives over the years. Never saying no to someone who needed a shoulder to help them bear their burden. Today, the Catholic Church will canonize Fr. Damien as a Saint. Damien did not run away from the lepers he ministered, instead he embraced them. Mom never ran away from anyone in need, from her family to those in the parish and beyond. In my mind, she is very worthy of the honor.

Please keep Mom in your thoughts and in your prayers, ask Our Lord for her healing. Thank you!


Cleansing – Good News for June 26

26 06 2009

Matthew 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it.  Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately.

Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The Daily Path: We all have a little leprosy in our life. Some cases are worse than others. I’m no exception. I also believe that God can provide the healing we need.

When God does heal us, should we buy a bird for sacrifice and then shave our heads as was prescribed by Moses? No, not in this age. But I would guess that offering something up to God in thanks and recognition of His act would be a modern version of the gift that Moses called for. (NOTE: See Leviticus 14:2-32 for gift details)