Monthly Archives: May 2010

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

29 May 2010

Reflecting on Proverbs 8:22-31

Based on an icon by Andrei Rublev in the Tretyakov Museum, Moscow

Who are the people who decided the first reading for this Sunday?  I want to thank them personally for choosing that beautiful passage from the book of Proverbs (8:22-31) as the best section of the entire Old Testament to portray the work of God the Creator.  Did you hear it?  The creator of the universe had a playmate, a friend who played on the surface of the earth, who was with God at first, before the earth.  And of course that playmate was the Holy Spirit.

Ah, Wisdom (Holy Spirit).  You were God’s partner when the mountains settled into place, and when the limits of the sea were measured out you were there, delighting God day by day.

The other two readings today give us the Second and Third Persons of the Trinity as we usually think of them:  Jesus, the peace-giver, and the Holy Spirit, the truth-giver.  But oh, how lovely to think of the First Person through the poetry of Proverbs—the delighted, artistic, musical, wondrous creator of all that is.  Our universe is shot through with Wisdom, and we live in its endless mysteries.

Of course, our beloved dead whom we remember and honor this Memorial Day weekend know that Wisdom now in a much richer way than we who wait in joyful hope for the day we are reunited with them.  They know the Trinity intimately, as the never-ending love of God drawing us home.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:


Do you feel a special closeness to one of the Persons of the Trinity?

Pentecost Sunday – Easter Cycle C

22 May 2010

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit


Come, oh Holy Spirit, come!

And make our timid hearts your own.

In Juarez, blow your mighty wind.

In Haiti, Spirit, enter in.

In war zones here and far away

Let your healing love hold sway.

Change our hearts, our hates, our lives.

Touch the place where meanness thrives.

Come, oh Spirit, open wide

The doors we like to hide behind.

The wounds we hold, the hurts we feed―

Help us, Spirit, to be freed.

And on this Feast Day, give us light

To feel His presence in the night.

Our sadness gone, our faith restored

Proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Can you remember a time when the Spirit let you see that God was near?

Seventh Sunday – Easter Cycle C

16 May 2010

Reflecting on Luke 24: 44-53

To be honest, we still don’t really know what happened.  We saw him crucified on that tree.  We watched the whole terrifying thing from a distance.  People are saying that he turned to the thief next to him and told him that he would be with him that very day in Paradise.  And then of course we all saw the eclipse of the sun, and even those of us at a safe distance heard him cry out, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. And then he breathed his last.

And as they were looking on, he was lifted up

But I’m sure you’ve heard what happened next.  People are talking about it all over Jerusalem and even up in Galilee.  His body is gone from the tomb.  He has appeared to two of our number as they were returning to Emmaus.  Cephas saw him too, and then he came to us while we were hiding in the same room where we had our last meal with him.  And he wasn’t a ghost, he was really alive!  And we are still incredulous with joy!  Somehow he opened our memories and our understanding.  Life as we knew it is completely different now.

Today we were with him again.  He led us out towards Bethany and said the most beautiful words to us.  We are to be his witnesses, even to the ends of the earth.  And he promised to send us power from the Holy Spirit in just a few days!  We don’t know what that means, but we won’t leave the city until it happens.  What will the spirit do?  How will we be changed?  Is it possible that, once again, a great miracle will happen here?  We wait in joyful hope.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

As we anticipate the great feast of Pentecost, what gifts of the Spirit would you most like to experience in a more powerful way?

Sixth Sunday – Easter Cycle C

9 May 2010

Reflecting on the journeys of Paul and Barnabas

Don’t you hate it when people misquote you or mislead other people about you?  Think how infuriating it must have been for Paul and Barnabas when those “brothers” from Judea showed up in Antioch and tried to upset the peace of the Gentiles there who had received Christ.  What? You were baptized but not circumcised? No, no, that’s not what Jesus demands.  He expects all Gentile men to behave like Jews if they want to be saved.  We know what Jesus wants.  We’re the authorities.  Don’t listen to Paul.  What does he know?  He never even knew Jesus.

Journeys of Paul

It’s scary to think about what would have happened to the world if Paul had caved into that.  If he hadn’t trusted completely in the Spirit’s guidance to open the way of salvation to the Gentiles, the Jesus Movement would certainly have died out before the end of the first century.  Instead, the Holy Spirit inspired him to ask an entirely revolutionary thought: could it be that Jesus is for all of us? And once he knew the answer to that, nothing could stop him from bringing Christ to the Gentiles of the ancient world, and so to us.

I guess that’s the Spirit’s signature work―to open our hearts wide enough for Jesus to do something wonderful and new.  Something new.  I like the sound of that.  Pentecost awaits.

Sharing God’s Word at Home

Can you sense the Spirit urging you to do something new and wonderful?

Fifth Sunday – Easter Cycle C

2 May 2010

Reflecting on Revelation 21:1-5

Ah…May.  Is there a more delicious celebration of the senses?  And how on earth does it all happen?  The bush outside our window has been empty and barren and boring for months and months, and just in time for Earth Day last week it popped open with the most gorgeous pinks and whites. And now all the trees on the block are clapping their hands and saying, Ha!!  Look what we’ve been getting ready for all winter!  And we did it right in front of your eyes and you didn’t even notice!! Surprise!!!

Colors of Spring

But these days my husband Ben, whose carbon footprint is nearly undetectable, is staring with astonishment as I start up the car for the one-mile drive to church.  Uh oh.  I guess the world’s resources aren’t mine alone.  Even the ancient author of the Book of Revelation knew that someday the former heaven and earth would pass away, but why should I contribute to that event before God’s own time?

Listen to Pope Benedict XVII in his address for the World Day of Peace 2010:  We must ensure that human activity does not compromise the fruitfulness of the earth, for the benefit of people now and in the future…If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation… As we care for creation we realize that God, through creation, cares for us.

I love that.  I remember all those long talks I had with God as I rode my Schwinn through the apple-blossomed Mays of my youth. God was caring for me then, mediating grace through the exquisite beauty of nature.

Okay, maybe just this once I’ll try biking to church.

Google World Day of Peace 2010 to read the entire papal address.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

In what ways do you experience God’s care for you as you care for creation?