Monday, May 7, 2018
Today, in Mercy, some amazing things occur in our reading from Acts. First of all, Paul ventures into Europe preaching the Word. He and his team have come to the Roman colony of Philippi. While there, he speaks with and befriends – not the leading men – but Lydia, a holy woman of significant influence. These occurrences indicate how different this new religion will be, where Gentiles and women are welcomed into the community of faith. Let’s pray for a similar inclusivity in our churches today, even as society attempts to label, stratify and isolate people based on race, sex, nationality, economics, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Today, in Mercy, we listen first to the great Apostle Paul’s experience of trying to do the work of God as He sails through the Mediterranean world. He is frustrated in trying to take the Word into Asia. Even the Holy Spirit holds him back. In the Gospel, Jesus tells it straight: You will be persecuted just like I was. This living the Gospel thing is not a piece of cake! That is why it is so important that we help, rather than block one another. Most people are trying to do the best they can. If they make a mistake, let’s give them a helping hand rather than a condemning tongue. It’s easy to bury somebody, but it takes a real Christian to give them new life. (PS: Got a pick for the Kentucky Derby? I’m going for “My Boy Jack”.)
Friday, May 4, 2018
Today, in Mercy, Jesus speaks his most loving words to his disciples. We can see them gathered around Jesus in the candlelit room. They are both dreading and longing for these precious words, both a confirmation of love and declaration of departure. But the words give them courage and they feel resolve rising in their hearts to be all that Jesus hopes them to be.
These same words follow us down through the ages, comforting and strengthening us to be all that Jesus dreams for us.
(Photo of Motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy in Merion, PA, USA. Note highlighted motto at top of photo. It has comforted and impelled many a Mercy heart. The magnificent song from Bob Dufford, SJ captures all of Jesus’ Last Discourse in John’s Gospel. PS: For those of you who know Sister Kate, she is one of the Sisters kneeling in adoration.)
Sunday, April 15, 2018: Today In Mercy, Jesus opens the minds and hearts of his followers to understand that He is the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Faith is like the evolution of a beautiful flower. The miracle does not happen all at once. There is a patient, silent process which finally yields the blossom. In these stories of the Resurrection appearances, the early Christians are showing us how they matured through trust, prayer and a shared community of faith. It is a model for us and the whole Church. Many of us will attend services this weekend. Is there a mutual nourishment between us and our faith community? If not, how can I help change that?
Tuesday, April 10, 2018: Today, in Mercy, our readings visit some of the earliest Christians: Nicodemus, Matthias and Barnabas. Each one is engaging his own call to this new, post-Resurrection community. Act 1:1 describes the deep love and fervor of this group who held all in common and loved one another. We live in many communities: family, faith, friends, neighborhood, school, work, country, world, Creation. What is my level of commitment to love, justice and Mercy among those with whom I share life?
( I am trying to post each reflection on the evening before, so that it can be used to prepare tomorrow’s morning prayer, if desired.)