Searching For Mr. Jesus – Good News for April 4

4 04 2009

They looked for Jesus…

John 11:45-56

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” 

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.

So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and there he remained with his disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”

The Daily Path: I think there are many people looking for Jesus. They just haven’t come to recognize Him yet. I’ve come to realize that Jesus is at every feast if we open our eyes to see Him.

This morning the parishioners of St. Monica’s gathered to bring the feast to the homeless of Oakland, CA. Jesus was in the kitchen wrapping sandwiches with the adults and packing cookies with the kids. Amazing!

Room to Chat: Lord, guard Michael, as a shepherd guards his flock.

(Today’s prayer for Michael adapted from Jeremiah 31:10. See Come Out – Good News for March 29)

The Pardoner – Good News for March 6

6 03 2009

It is in the pardoning that we are pardoned…

Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.

Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

The Daily Path: Yesterday, I heard a quote from St. Francis of Assisi that inspired me to dig a little deeper into the wisdom of this most holy man. In doing so I found another quote that brought today’s gospel home to me in the simplest terms. Francis said:

“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”

I know it’s not easy. I really struggle with this. Some wounds are deep. Some can remain with us most of our life even though we don’t realize it. Like a physical wound, these injuries develop so much scar tissue that they eventually limit your range of motion. The only way to regain your freedom is to break free of this tissue. That’s the hard part. 

I think I’ll put pen to paper and craft a list of all my wounds. I’ll include a column of those people who I feel have hurt me. When finished I’ll carefully fold the paper. As I do so, I’ll ask Christ to help me break free from the scars listed on my paper. Then I’ll  tear the paper into little bits and dump them in the recycle bin… so they can leave me and ultimately be transformed into something good. 

I probably have a lot of pardoning to do. Our recycle company may be busy for some time!

Room to Chat: Here is a cue for today:  when you feel anger, driven by hurt, try to let it go. Just cast it out like week old garbage to be picked up by God’s big green truck and hauled away.