Thursday, May 19, 2016

How Does God Love Us?

Happy Trinity Sunday. All I can ever remember is my 6th grade teacher speaking of the Trinity in terms of a great mystery. I must admit, it hasn't gotten much clearer for me these last 50 years or so. But if I think of the Trinity within the concept of relationship and love I can find some kind of light in the midst of the mystery.

Relationship is at the heart of all our ministry isn't it? We try to be present to others, pastoral, caring. We teach, we sing, we preach, along side our sisters and brothers. It is only in the mystery of our relationships with one another that we find a glimpse of the love God has for each of us. Our small human minds and hearts cannot truly understand the scope or magnitude of the love the Creator has for the creature. When your heart swells with love for another, when you are touched by the honesty of someone's conversation, when you are privileged to witness the devotion between a couple, or between a parent and child...then you come to know a little bit of what God must be like.

Look around you today for examples of love, of faithfulness, of devotion. Look around you to the ones you love today, the people who touch your heart and remind you of how much more the Creator cares for you than you can even imagine. Tell someone you love them today. I hope that you get to hear that you are loved by another too.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Church!

I love Pentecost Sunday. It was the very first time I was a lector I think, as a 14 year old in my home parish. Those were a lot of tough words to get through...the names of all those foreign places. I smile every year as I listen to the lector of the day make his or her way through Phrygia and Pamphylia and so on. "You can do it!" I silently cheer....and with the help of the Holy Spirit, they get through it all.

We teach that the Holy Spirit offers each of us many and varied gifts. Each Confirmation student tries to learn and remember: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of Lord...(I know they have different names now, right Olivia? But these were the ones I struggled to learn...Olivia is the next Confirmandi in our family....) As I sit here just now, I wish one of the gifts involved being well rested or getting enough sleep. However...maybe that falls under the category of being wise enough to take care of one's health. question to myself today is which gift of the Spirit will I ask for on Sunday? What gift do I need most in my life? They are all precious and all important. One is not better than the other. I don't know which to ask for as I pray during Pentecost Mass. I do so appreciate 'awe' (I think that was "Fear of the Lord") because I am so grateful for the ability to recognize God's presence in the world around me, through people, through events, through nature and music...

I am mindful that God knows me better than I know myself...and so maybe my prayer on Sunday will be to ask God for the gift God knows I need most...and for the vision to recognize how God is gifting me, so that I may be grateful.

What gift of the Spirit do you need most? What will you ask God for? Isn't it good to know that when all is said and done we will be gifted with peace as well as those precious gifts we need to live the life God calls us to?

Happy Pentecost to you. Happy Birthday Church! Celebrate Well!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Leaning In -- to love...

Wow. Not for nothing but if Jesus really said the words attributed to Him today in John's Gospel, I don't know how anyone understood what he was talking about. There are a heck of a lot of pronouns in this passage...and I had to read it out loud to my self to try and follow it...and was exhausted before I finished. 

Here are my "take aways" from today's Gospel:
God loves us even as he loves Jesus...(wow!)  and
We are God's gift to Jesus...(!!)

I'm not sure how this makes me feel...I know I don't feel worthy of this immense love...but at the same time I am very grateful for it. I did nothing to deserve it, but I am so glad to know that I exist within the reality of God's love for me.

Which, as I write this, makes me think of how appropriate this is for Mother's Day. I can recall as a smart mouth child in the midst of some argument with my mom yelling the words "Oh yeah, well I didn't ask to be born..." and in fact I didn't...(and I was, at times, a brat)...I exist here because of the reality of my parent's love for each other and for me. I did nothing to deserve that love. At times I am the most unworthy of that love, and yet, my parents, my mom continues to love me in the best way she knows how. And today, I am grateful that somehow, this confusing Gospel reminds me to be grateful for all she has given me, done for me and loved me.

We talk a lot about 'leaning in' as a way to grow in skill and proficiency. Somehow today I'm thinking I need to pray for the grace to 'lean in--to love' to learn how to be more grateful for the people in my life who love me the best way they know mom, my aunt, my family my friends...and to be grateful that even though some days I don't deserve their love...they continue to love me in spite of my self.

So, Happy Mothers Day to all who love us with a mother's heart...and let us all lean in a bit to love one another better.