We Go – Good News for June 8

8 06 2009

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

The Daily Path: Oh, to be counted among the blessed. Although it’s an easy road to find, walking it proves much more difficult. Each of these requires us to move beyond ego. If “we go” to God it has to be Without EGO.

Look at the job requirements under Blessed: poor in spirit, mourner, peacemaker, meek, clean of heart, righteous, merciful, willingness to accept persecution.

Each of these requires us to move beyond ego. If “we go” to God it has to be a along a path Without EGO

Think of all the opportunities we have to be blessed… even in just one 24 hour day. How will I do when asked to remove the ME from meek? Can I put ME aside and foster peace when my blood boils with anger in the moment? Will I have the courage to faithfully acknowledge Jesus even if it MEans taking a worldly hit? Am I willing to put My nEeds aside to comfort those who mourn and carry some of their load? 

I can expand further, but hopefully you can see my point. The path to God requires WEGO without Me.

Room to Chat: I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Blessed the man who takes refuge in him. (Psalms 34) 

Seek the Lord today.

Get Aroused – Good News for January 29

29 01 2009

Mark 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;  nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”

He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

The Daily Path: I want to use today’s reflection to share a cut from St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews 10:24-25. Call it my Two-for-Thursday Special

“We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

As you reflect on these “rousing” words from St. Paul, I’m retreating into a very “me” focused line of thought. Although they seem selfish, I will share my thoughts because that’s what I do in The Daily Path

These days I often think of what I want to do with the rest of MY life. MY outlook has changed significantly over the past few years. There’s a lot of fire in MY engine that wants to be applied to “love and good works.” And that is the challenge. How do I meet MY obligations, give my family what they want and need, and still find greater capacity for the good (God) works? Self-absorbed “me” wants to have it all in one bundle: a passionate career of good works that fulfills me and provides for my family.

God, I’m turning this one over to you.

Kill the Turkey, Not ME! – Good News for November 26

26 11 2008

Luke 21: 12-19

Jesus said to the crowd, “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony.

Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.

You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” 

The Daily Path: Wow! The first 104 words of today’s Gospel are enough to make you turn tail and run away. It paints a grim picture of what you get as a follower of Christ. Seems much safer to open a box of Cracker Jacks to get your prize.

But in dying Jesus restored life. And we can do the same to gain Christ’s promise of eternal life after death. I’m not talking about becoming a Christian martyr, although that continues to happen, even today. I’m referring to allowing our ego (ME) to die so that we can really live as God wants us to. Remember our Thanksgiving Week theme? Matthew 25: 35-39 To pass the Final Exam requires a very small “me” and a huge WE. I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at this dying thing. ME doesn’t like it.

Thanksgiving Eve

Tomorrow will likely be a busy day for you. Traveling. Preparing a meal. Playing in the annual Turkey Bowl (ouch!). Because you won’t have much time tomorrow, will you join me today in spending a few minutes crafting The Gratitude List for 2008? 

Who and what are your grateful for this year?

It can be a short list of one or a long list of many. Hand written or a simple reflection in your mind and heart. Do it right now. Beat the rush!

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.