I am listening

I am here to do your will, O God.

How easy to say;
how easy to forget;
how easy to misunderstand;
how hard to know if it is your will or my will.

Send me wisdom to know your way, O God.
I am listening.

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A Plane Fell

A plane fell from the sky this week.
People traveling from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, 150 people,
including sixteen joyful German students returning home
from visiting their foreign exchange friends in Spain
who will never see their parents or village again.

How much we take for granted.  We expect to return from a trip;
we expect to wake up in the morning to spend the day in life’s routine.
A plane fell…

Life is changed in minutes.
Appreciate God’s simple blessings in your life,
especially the blessing of life itself.

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The Announcement

Do not be afraid, Mary, for
you have found favor with God.
You will conceive a child and
he shall be called Jesus.
(from Luke 1:26-38)

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The Cosmic Christ

When I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to myself,
says the LORD.
(from John 12)

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Women falsely accused

Susanna
falsely accused by two lustful men of adultery
sentenced to death.
Enter Daniel
who brought the truth to light
and saved Susanna’s life.
(from today’s scripture, Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-64)

March 19, 2015, Kabul, Afghanistan
Farkhunda
falsely accused of “burning pages of the Quran”
beaten and burned to death by a mob.
Criminal investigation found her innocent;
thirteen suspects have been arrested.
But Farkhunda is dead.
Was there no Daniel in the crowd to intervene?

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Lenten Fish Fries

Friday fish fries in church halls:
process in line, your turn next
the volunteer asks
baked or fried, cocktail or tartar sauce,
what side would you like, roll or sandwich bun,
what would you like to drink?
Pay your money; take a seat at a table.
Here’s comes your tray just as you ordered.
Friendly banter at the table,
polite teens ask, “Can I get you anything else?”
Welcomed in God’s house to eat with God’s People
in the downstairs Church.

How lovely!
No one asked, “Are you divorced?”
“Are you gay?”  “Are you pro-life?”
“Do you support women’s ordination?”
No one said,
“Only practicing Catholics can come to this table.”

Questions
in the downstairs Church
in the upstairs Church
how different they are!

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St. Joseph’s Day

Joseph,
a man who did not push away the young pregnant woman,
but rather, pulled her to him in warm embrace
absorbing the scorn, ridicule and shame
transforming them into loving covenant, safety and protection.

Joseph, man of compassion, strength, self-giving
icon of God’s all embracing love.
We remember and honor you today.

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A Word from Isaiah

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his suffering ones.
(from Isaiah 49)

The Lord is kind and merciful.  (from Psalm 145)

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St. Patrick’s Day

Christ be with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me
(from St. Patrick’s Breastplate, St. Patrick 389-461)

May Christ be with you this day.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

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Healing Prayer

In today’s gospel, a royal official in Cana
asked Jesus to heal his son who was near death in Capernaum.
The official said to Jesus, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.”
Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.”
The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.
Upon learning that his son had recovered,
he discovered that the boy’s fever had left him the hour that Jesus said,
“Your son will live.”
(from John 4:43-54)

We receive requests for healing prayer from people, and sometimes from far away.
A phone call, “Please pray for me.  I am having surgery on Thursday.”
An e-mail, “Please keep my daughter and baby in prayer.  It is a high risk pregnancy.”
A friend, “Please pray for my father, who is 88 years old.  He is frail, and failing.”

Does your prayer help?  Yes, absolutely yes.
God’s Word breathed out never returns empty.
And a sincere prayer asked through Jesus, God’s Word, never returns empty.
Our prayers always change things, although maybe not as we expect; and
our prayers change us.
Our prayers for healing are answered through Jesus, even across the miles.
Jesus can do that!

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