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Come and See!

 

May 19 - 2019

 


10th Anniversary appeal:

Dear Preacher Exchange Readers:

Greetings!  I recently celebrated my 10th anniversary with Preacher Exchange! I am amazed and honored to be able to share with you each week the guidance of the Spirit through “Come and See” and “Provisions for the Journey” during Advent and Lent. It has been wonderful to hear from some of you; I am humbled that you choose to incorporate my reflections in your ministries, and I am grateful to Father Jude and Brother Chuck for supporting me in my ministry.

If this website is of value to you, would you consider making a small donation to support Preacher Exchange so that Father Jude can continue this outreach?  It would mean a lot to me as a way to celebrate this special anniversary. Just click on the “Donations” tab on the bottom of the link bar to the left.

Thank you and blessings on you as you spread the Good News!

With love from,

Elaine Ireland


The Word…

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”
The One who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

(from Rev 21: 1-5)

Pondering the Word…

 

It's not true that life is one darned thing after another; it's one darned thing over and over.” (Edna St. Vincent Millay, revised slightly to make the adjective more acceptable!)

 

In our work-a-day lives, it can seem like not much changes. We run through the same old routine, we make the same old mistakes, we have the same old arguments. We hear the same bad news repeated over and over and over…  If someone asks, “What’s new?” we shrug our shoulders and say, “Nothin’.”

 

Yet we hear today God dwells with us and makes all things new. Every day, we and the world around us are changing. But often, because of tears in our eyes—tears of boredom, sadness, or fatigue—we lose focus on the newness with which God gifts us at each and every moment of our lives.    

 

Allow God to wipe away those tears. Open your eyes and your heart to all that is new, the good and even the not-so-good--there is always something we can learn from the trials we encounter. Allow all of creation into consciousness.  Allow God to make all things new in and for you.

Living the Word…

Here’s a prayer experiment to try this week. Set aside a few minutes at noontime and again in the evening. Sit quietly and imagine God calling you by name and asking,” Hey, what’s new?” “What did you learn in my world today?” Perhaps you made headway with a difficult co-worker or received a compliment. Maybe you felt the warm sun and shrugged your shoulders—not in apathy, but in exhilaration. Spring is a perfect time to observe the growth all around us. Children can be our greatest guides in looking for newness in life. Take time to ask them each day what they learned, not just in school, but in God’s marvelous creation.
 


May 20: Judas, not the Iscariot, asked, "Master, what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" (Jn 14:21-26)

Judas asks Jesus the question everyone wants to ask: ‘Why aren’t you the Messiah we thought you were going to be, the powerful ruler who would expel the Romans and give us back our homeland forever?’ ‘Why are you so unlike what we expected?’ ‘And why do you reveal yourself just to us and not to the whole world?’ Jesus’ answer is found in the Last Supper discourses, but it comes down to two words: freewill and faith. God does not want us as slaves, but as friends (Jn 15:15) God does not force us to believe by displays of worldly power but by the power of love. Jesus tells the disciples the Advocate will help them understand this radical way of living and strengthen them for the trials ahead, trials we still endure today. Whenever Judas’ question comes to mind for you, pray the Holy Spirit will enlighten and encourage you to fulfill Christ’s mission: the triumph, not of an exclusive homeland or of worldly might, but of the everlasting power of love.

May 21:  They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered around him, he got up and entered the city. (Acts 14: 19-28)

If the people stoning Paul think he’s dead, either they are bad shots with bad eyesight, or he is in rough shape. But we hear the disciples gather around him and he gets up, goes back into the city(!) and hits the road again the next day. He gathers strength from those who love him. Do you know someone who is beaten down? They may not show signs of injury but are in need of strength and comfort. Gather together as community to love and lend a hand. If you are the one beaten down, don’t go it alone. Pray for the strength to reach out for help.

May 22: Some were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved." There arose no little dissension and debate…so it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters about this question…
(Acts 15:1-6)

Dissension and debate among the leadership? Well, how that be?! (Sigh) If you read further, you’ll see what they do—they talk about it and they talk about what is essential.  Oh, I’m sure there were heated words and raised voices; some likely left the assembly due to the decision made. But we also hear they fell silent. They listened. No doubt, they prayed for the Spirit to guide them. What might it be like if the leaders of our church or in our world would sit down together and listen to each other with minds and hearts opened by the Spirit? What would it be like if we did that within families and communities? Why don’t we just give it a try?

May 23:Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love.” (Jn 15:9-11)

Remain in my love.” That’s it. No jumping through hoops, no severe penances or fasts, nothing out of the ordinary; that is, unless loving one another as Christ loves us is something that is too hard for us to do. As we will reflect on tomorrow, yes, there are times when loving calls people to do extraordinary things, but usually, it is as simple and as difficult as loving others every day in their uniqueness and weakness.  I heard a saying recently: ‘There is no power in the universe that can cause me to be unkind to another.’ If loving everyone sincerely--not just for show or salvation--is just too tough, then let’s at least start with kindness.

May 24: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.” (Jn 15:12-17)

As I write this on Mother’s Day, I cry to think of the two young men who recently sacrificed their lives for their classmates by confronting another classmate—a young man with a gun—who chose to hate and anger over love. I pray for their moms and cry for the anguish they must feel. And I pray that somehow, someway, those of us incensed by the insanity of gun violence in the US, taking the lives of our future, can turn our righteous anger into common sense and change. Again, I ask: Why don’t we just give it a try? (https://momsdemandaction.org/)

May 25: On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had (Timothy) circumcised.  (Acts 16:1-10)

I feel for Timothy and am peeved at Paul! He has already been to Jerusalem to get this whole circumcision thing resolved, only to capitulate to the powers that be where he and Timothy are evangelizing. Perhaps they decided together this was the best way for them to win more disciples for Christ. I guess one could look at it as a compromise for the greater good. As we’ve talked about this week, compromise can be achieved when we take the time to listen, not only to each other, but to the Spirit. Maybe our stringent stances only serve to alienate people. Let’s pray about this and see where we might be willing to sacrifice for the greater good.
 


Elaine Ireland has a passion for working with parents and anyone who struggles to maintain a sense of God’s love and peace amid the day-to-day challenges of life. She has a master’s degree in Spiritual and Pastoral Care from the Pastoral Counseling department at Loyola, Maryland, with a focus on developmental psychology and spiritual guidance.  Rooted in Ignatian spirituality, she is a writer, retreat and workshop leader, and presenter on topics such as pastoral parenting, “letting go,” and finding the spiritual in the midst of everyday life. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland with her husband, Mark and children, David and Maggie.

 

We hope you enjoy "Come and See!" and we welcome your input. Please contact Elaine Ireland at ehireland@loyola.edu with questions, comments, and responses.

 

© 2009 - 2018, Elaine H. Ireland - Images@FaithClipart.com


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