Can you drink the cup?

Jesus asked the sons of Zebedee,
“Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”
They said to him, “We are able.”
(Matthew 20)

Henri Nouwen wrote,
Drinking the cup of life makes our own
everything we are living.
It is saying, “This is my life,”
but also “I want this to be my life.”
Drinking the cup of life is fully appropriating and
internalizing our own unique existence,
with all its sorrows and joys.
(from Can You Drink the Cup? by Henri J. M. Nouwen,
Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN, 1996)

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Exalted One

The greatest among you will be your servant.
All who exalt themselves will be humbled,
and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
(from Matthew 23)

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Mercy and Forgiveness

Be merciful, just as our loving God is merciful.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
(from Luke 6)

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Land of the Living

Kind and faithful is the Lord,
gentle is our God.
The Lord shelters the poor,
raises me from the dust.
Rest once more, my heart,
for you know the Lord’s love.

God rescues me from death,
wiping my tears,
steadying my feet.
I walk with the Lord
in this land of the living.
(Psalm 116:5-9 from The Psalter, ICEL, 1994)

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Extending a Blessing

Graduation, The University of Notre Dame, May 1984

Parents seated high in the stands
peering down at their sons and daughters
as they receive their treasured certificates
signed by Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, University President

Fr. Ted looks up and says to me
and all of the parents
that we are the ones who gave birth to these young men and women,
who raised them,
and entrusted them to the care of the Notre Dame faculty.
Therefore, it is only right that we parents
bless our sons and daughters on this day.
“Please extend your hands over…”

For the first time I truly understood
that a lay person could indeed extend a blessing
in the same way as a priest at Mass.
Mass — Vatican II called it Liturgy.
Liturgy, “the work of the people.”

A lesson on liturgy and ritual from a great teacher,
taught without a book,
taught from the heart
to my heart where the lesson lives on.

Today I extend a blessing to Fr. Ted:
May God bless and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May God look upon you with kindness, Fr. Ted, and grant you peace.


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What is on the calendar today?
A trip to the post office and grocery store.
Who will I meet who needs
a warm “Hello”
or a friendly smile
on this day?

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Esther’s Prayer

Queen Esther prayed to God for the gifts of
eloquent speech and courage
that she may save her Jewish people from destruction.
God answered her prayer.
(from the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Scriptures)

I call upon you, O God,
and you answer me.

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Have mercy, tender God,
forget that I defied you.
Wash away my sin,
cleanse me from my guilt.
(Psalm 51:3-4 Liturgical Psalter 1994, ICEL)

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“Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who have sinned against us.”
Who do you need to forgive today?
Is the one you need to forgive yourself?

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Some people are black and white thinkers.
Some of them see only the good; others see only the bad.
Some of them see only the rules; others reject all rules.
Some of them see only opportunities; others see only the obstacles.

Life is bigger than black and white.
Life is filled with paradox, ambiguity, nuance, chaos and order.
Life is both / and.

God does not think in black and white.
God thinks in rainbows.
God gave Noah’s Family and us
the rainbow as a symbol of God’s covenant with us,
a symbol of beauty, diversity, mystery.

The rainbow is not the black and white thinking of heaven verses the world.
The rainbow is multi-colored light streaming from the heavens,
touching the earth, the world where we live.

God thinks in rainbows. Do you?

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