Love Redux – Good News for May 15

15 05 2009

John 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.

I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.

This I command you: love one another.”

The Daily Path: I don’t know why on some occasions the Catholic Church will repeat the same Gospel on consecutive days. You may recall that yesterday we read almost the exact same passage from John 15.

Here’s what I think… with all the madness in today’s world, God wants us to be constantly reminded what Jesus tells us of love. As my good friend the Mad Advertising Czar would say: “It’s about getting eyeballs, man.” 

Okay, God. Today we have a love redux to remind more people about the message. 

“Love one another” 

Start this morning in the Peet’s Coffee Line. The Unemployment line. The bridge toll line. The line to get in line. Hug your wife. Tell your kids you love them even though their crayons melted on your back seat. Shake hands with your adversary at work (there is more success to be gained in tandem than alone). Smile at the person you can’t stand to be around (that smile has amazing super power to bring behavioral change). But do all these things because you love God… and because Jesus has asked us to “Love one another.”

Room to Chat: Guys have a hard time demonstrating their love. Reflect on that.

Finding A Withered Hand – Good News for January 21

21 01 2009

Mark 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him.

He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”

But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

The Daily Path: A bad time to do good? Little chance of that in this day and age. However, the internal Pharisee in all of us will scream out: “It’s an inconvenient time to do good!”

Look down at your own hand or your leg. Imagine that it’s withered. Would now be a convenient time to take action to heal it?

The only “sin” in sharing our love and mercy is if we find it inconvenient to do so. Make time to find your own withered hand in someone else. 

Room to Chat: When the corporate meeting you’re participating in starts to sound like this:  “Blah. Blah. Blah, Blah. Blah.” Take your cue. Refresh the spirit with a silent prayer.

A Voice Once Again – Good News for December 23

23 12 2008

Luke 1:57-66

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. 

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” 

But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.

Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.” 

The Daily Path: I can imagine the surprise felt by his neighbors when Zechariah was suddenly able to speak again. How would your neighbors act if you suddenly proclaimed your faith in ways unexpected? I’m no Zechariah, but I think some of my friends and neighbors are still a little stunned over my return to my Catholic roots. That’s okay because I hope many of them will be blessed by God’s touch in the days ahead. If they could come to know the same joy I’ve experienced with God in my life, I’m certain they’d all rush to begin their own spiritual journey. 

In these last two days before Christmas, I want to express my thanks to everyone who has brought Good News To-Go! into their life. No matter how many times you’ve visited, I hope reading the Good News of Our Lord has brought some measure of peace into what can often be a storm. Your many comments have inspired me to continue. It’s my Christmas prayer that more peace will be present in your lives as you find ways to incorporate more of God and His love and mercy into each day. Look for Him in your life and listen…

Lift up your heads and see, your redemption is near at hand. (Luke 21:28)

At No Cost – Good News for December 6

6 12 2008

Matthew 9:35 – 10:8

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” 

Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness. Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” 

The Daily Path: I marvel at the timing of when these readings come into my life. I’m just one tiny speck in the scheme of things, yet it’s as though today at this very moment God’s master plan called for me to connect with the inspired words of Matthew! My mind can’t comprehend the mechanism that could possibly do such, but I believe that is exactly what’s in play. 

Here is another one of Our Lord’s messages of love and mercy that we are all called to. Like these lost sheep, I too am troubled. I seek the shepherd. I know he will provide. And I know that in turn, I am called to labor on his behalf and give back freely of what has been given to me.


Advent Meditation: Blessed are all who wait for the Lord

L and M – Good News for November 6

6 11 2008

Luke 15: 1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 

So Jesus addressed this parable to them. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Daily Path: The message is always so simple… “Love and mercy.”

But why is implementation of these so damn hard?

Perhaps because it’s always about ME? If I didn’t care what other people thought about ME, could I dispense endless mercy? Could I fearlessly distribute love? What does love and mercy cost? Nothing but the time it takes to spread it around. Maybe I could be the Warren Buffett of love and mercy… if only ME would get out of the way.