God Willing!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052318.cfm

Today, in Mercy, we read from the epistle of James. There are multiple, unresolvable theories about who this “James” was, as three are mentioned in the Gospel. All I can say is that when I read this particular passage, I think that my Irish Great-Grandmother was the reincarnation of this writer, whichever one he was!

Each night, when we would innocently say, “Goodnight, Nana, see you in the morning”, Nana would ominously respond, “God willing.” I would creep up to bed convinced in my 3-year-old mind that God might be waiting to snatch me in my sleep. Upon awakening the next morning, I was glad God was “willing” to let me have another day.

Nana didn’t know the turmoil she created in me, but James’s warning is intended to disturb. Through his entire letter, he weaves the themes of humility over pride, grace over concupiscence, a holy integrity in face of evil. There is an urgency for holiness in James which can inspire us all. As our hymn says:

Our life as a dream, our time as a stream

Glide swiftly away,

And the fugitive moment refuses to stay.

Now is the time to “do the right thing.” (James 4: 17)

Music: Come, Let Us Anew ~ written by Charles Wesley in the 1700s. Sung here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ( The slide show appears to have been prepared by a Christian Jew)

The Road to Conversion

Friday, April 20, 2018:

Readings: Acts 9:1-20, Psalm 117:1-2; John 6:52-59

Today, in Mercy, we ride with Paul on the road to Damascus. His soul is struck by grace and he realizes his sinfulness – that he has failed to see the presence of God in all people. He turns from his persecution to actually become a Christian himself. Conversion!

One wonders what that same road might look like today – the countryside and its people devastated by the continuing Syrian War. War would be impossible if we truly could see the face of God in one another. Let’s pray today for a conversion of hearts in leaders, in all those who profit from war, and in ourselves. Let’s pray especially for the people devastated by war and the exercise of irresponsible power.