Sunday, February 26, 2023

Heart to Heart

Each year our Heart to Heart Team provides material for our Lenten Reflection.  I invite you to read the reflection prepared as we mark the first Sunday of Lent.  There are so many resources for Lent perhaps you will find this helpful.  Have a blessed Lent.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Seventh Suday in Ordinary Time


In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus ends his Sermon on the Mount (The Beatitudes) with a statement on love and continues to teach the way of discipleship. In this sermon, we have been reminded that we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others even our enemies.

The call to discipleship is a radical one. It is a difficult lesson for our 21st century minds to absorb. We must not retaliate if attacked. We must give more than we are asked. We must go further than the minimum necessary. And we must love our enemies. It is a call to go beyond the way of the world usually works and serve God here on earth if we are to be with God in eternity. We won’t be perfect in our efforts to do as Jesus teaches but it is in continually striving for that perfection, for completeness in our relationship with God, that we fulfill our duties as disciples and fulfill Jesus’ command to love God and our neighbor.

Love is at the heart of the Christian journey. We are called to love God and each other. Loving our enemies can be difficult. The list of reasons that we create for not loving our enemies can make us think of revenge. Jesus says, “turn the other cheek.” This is not the way of the world, but it is God’s way.

We must learn to love as God has loved us with forgiveness and mercy. God’s unconditional love calls us to be members of His kingdom here on earth. As we strive to be faithful to God’s call, we find completeness. We are not perfect, but God continues to collaborate with us in our search for God’s perfect will in our lives.

The “Golden Rule” offers us some insight into how we can accomplish Jesus’ challenge to us today. Treat others in the way you would want to be treated. Sometimes when we are hurt, we want the other to hurt as well.  Holding grudges and being unforgiveness tend to hurt us more than the other person. No matter how difficult it may be to forgive, love must rule the day.  Let us pray each day for the ability to follow the “Golden Rule” and live it to the fullest. 

Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Letter


During the week I had the opportunity to participate in a conversation about the film, The Letter.  If you have not watched it, I encourage you to do so.  It is one of those movies that changes you once you have seen it.

In 2015, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ (The Letter), an encyclical letter about the environmental crisis to every single person in the world. A few years later, four voices that have gone unheard in global conversations have been invited to an unprecedented dialogue with the Pope.

Hailing from Senegal, the Amazon, India, and Hawaii, they bring perspective and solutions from the poor, the indigenous, the youth, and wildlife into a conversation with Pope Francis himself.

This documentary follows their journey to Rome and the extraordinary experiences that took place there and is packed with powerfully moving personal stories alongside the latest information about the planetary crisis and the toll it’s taking on nature and people.

Perhaps you can host a watch party – inviting others to watch it with you.  It just may touch your heart in ways that you hadn’t expected.  The film is available on YouTube (The Letter) Enjoy it and let the power of the film speak to your heart.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Black History Month


Faithful justice-seekers know that in God’s economy there are enough resources for all of us, not just the wealthy, well-connected, and white, to have thriving lives. But the sin of racism has endured in our country from slavery through today dimming the life of light, love, and freedom that is divinely meant for all of us.

During this month dedicated to celebrating and honoring Black history, we pause to reflect on the sin of racism—the original sin of our country. We come together, believing the collective power of prayer and our growing consciousness, as we reflect on the myriad of ways our lives have been impacted by racist policies and beliefs. As Dr. King said, "The time is always right to do the right thing."

We pray:

Good and gracious God,

We lament the lasting legacy of slavery and the many manifestations thereof, yielding racist policies and deep trauma that has continued for centuries since its ceremonial ending in the United States.

We commit ourselves to ongoing repair and redress of these sins.

We lament our complicity in allowing racist policies and practices to continue.

May we have the courage to disrupt and avert any system of inequity.

We affirm ourselves as members of one human family, believing that what affects one of us, affects all of us.

May we commit ourselves to seeing and hearing one another and being our siblings’ caretaker.

We lament that H.R. 40 has been introduced in Congress for 34 years without a floor vote and now,

We call on President Biden to establish, by Executive Order, the Commission to Study Reparations.

NOW is the time.  Amen.

Shared from Network