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Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 1:22 PM
For the past several weeks we have watched the news reports of children from Central America coming into the United States. The focus has been on the border. Now some of these children are finding their way to Portland. While there are people who are unwelcoming to these children who have left their homes and parents to escape violence, their coming close to our home gives us an opportunity to show hospitality. There may be opportunities for us to volunteer to welcome them and help them settle into temporary living places.
In any case this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate the attitude of Jesus, who said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
We lift these children up in our prayers, Loving God, as you guided the Holy Family to Egypt to deliver the infant Jesus from violence and the threat of death, so you see these children coming to our cities. Relive their suffering; grant them peace of mind, and renewed faith in your protection and care. Protect us all from the violence of others, and restore all your children to tranquility and peace. We ask this in through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday, July 20, 2014, 12:35 PM
In one of Jesus’ parables, wheat and weeds grow together. At one stage they are indistinguishable.
Sometimes our strengths--skills we have counted on to help us protect ourselves and achieve our goals--are also our weaknesses which cause us hardship in relationships and burden us with expectations. Conversely, sometimes our weaknesses are really our strengths.
During this week make a list of your strengths. Then ask of each one how is it also a weaknesses? Do the same for your perceived weaknesses. How are they also your strengths?
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12:45 PM
The first people to hear Jesus’ parables heard them without any interpretation. We think we know what the parable means because we have an interpretation, sometimes provided by the evangelists and sometimes provided through the centuries of Christian proclamation.
Try to hear the parables for the first time. For this week use the parable of the Sower and the Seed, Matthew 13:1-9. One way to do this is to put the parable in a different context. You can hear this parable when you are sitting in a meeting, driving down the street, or shopping at the supermarket. What is the message of the parable for you in each of these contexts?
Sunday, July 6, 2014, 12:51 PM
In today's gospel, Jesus was thankful that “these things” were revealed to children. This is a variation of another saying of Jesus, “Unless you become like children, you cannot enter the kingdom.” Children have a marvelous capacity to accept what is, to revel in it, and enjoy the moment.
In light of this lesson, I'm suggesting the following spiritual practice. For today, live like a child. If necessary make it an act. Exaggerate your ability to enjoy life. At the end of the day write in your journal about what happened that day. Would you like to live that way more often?
Sunday, June 29, 2014, 1:11 PM
Jesus said if someone receives you,
they receive me,
and if they receive me,
they receive the one who sent me.
This is Jesus’ way of reminding us that we are all connected.
It is not a matter of saying,
I am here,
you are there,
and God is outside of both of us.
Jesus reminds us that we are not separate.
During this week notice the places where you feel separated from another and notice the times when the distinctions blur and you feel that to serve another is really to serve yourself and to serve God.