“Green is the season after Pentecost….” Jessica Powers, a Carmelite poet, starts her reflection on the Spirit’s work by inviting us into a summer of green. It is Ordinary time again, with the wearing of green vestments and the world of the Northern Hemisphere is dense and dancing with green. But for the Christian, is time ever Ordinary? We who just have celebrated the Great Mysteries know a world woven through and through with the grace of creation and redemption, and God’s spirit alive in the world. Powers marvels, “O leaves of love! O chlorophyll of grace!”
Be inspired and encouraged with a weekly reflection on God’s Word and every day life.
It’s the beginning of June…a time when flowers are in full bloom, birds are chattering every morning and evening and the sun stays up late into the evening. It’s a season of life, sunshine, and joy. But recently, I realized that it’s also a season of dying. Think about the many endings that occur at the end of May and beginning of June:
- Graduations – leaving one beloved institution for the unknown.
- Retirements – ending one stage of one’s life for another.
- Moving – saying goodbye to wonderful neighbors and hello to more.
- Transitions – leaving a job or ministry for whatever reason to find another.
- End of a school year – leaving a well-known teacher for new one.
Grandma Mary stayed with her five-year-old grandson Billy one night when his parents were out for the evening. When he was ready for bed, Grandma asked if she could sit with him while he said his nightly prayers. When Billy was ready, Grandma came and sat on the edge of the bed as he knelt beside it.
As Billy knelt there, he folded his hands and put his head down. After a lengthy silence, Grandma said, “Billy, are you praying yet?” He replied, “Sure am, Grandma.” “Well,” she said, “did you remember to pray for mom and dad and the new baby?” “Absolutely, Grandma.” Continue reading →
“Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of God.” Psalm 33:8
I visited New Orleans recently and stayed with our sisters at the Bancroft House, which is a large home on Bancroft Drive. The back patio faces Bayou St. John, a waterway that is an offshoot of the Mississippi River and flows into Lake Pontchartrain.
It was so lovely to sit outside with my morning coffee and look across the bayou watching bikers and joggers speed along the path on the other side. While I was quietly contemplating the water, suddenly a fish jumped up out of the water and dove back down, then up again, and again. I never saw fish jump before. The only live fish I ever saw were in my brother’s tank: guppies and goldfish. This was amazing. I was in awe at this phenomenon, which the sisters in the house seemed to take in stride. “Oh yes, they do it all the time,” Noel said. It reminded me of the musical Porgy and Bess – “Summertime and the living is easy, fish are jumping and the cotton is high.” So that’s where the idea came from. WOW.
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In all the richness of these after-Easter scriptures – the bold witness of Paul, the growth of new Christian communities, the poignancy of Paul’s departure and his words of encouragement to those he is leaving, and in the wonderful circuitous word-play that the Gospel of John presents to us in the last discourses of Jesus (chapters 14-17) heard again and new throughout this late Easter Season, there appears a tiny part of speech, a little word which occurs repeatedly in the farewell prayers of Jesus and in the letters of Paul—It is the word IN. Continue reading →