Shepherds wanted

group leaderAt Home in Our Faith -

Reflections on the Gospel of the Fourth Sunday of Easter, John 10:1-10

The Christian community could not have endured without some people coming forward to be leaders. The apostles received the great commission from the Lord to be the first shepherds of the flock. They took this call seriously, eventually giving their lives for the Good News. As infant church, really "Jesus communities" within Judaism, grew, more leaders were needed to care for and teach the people to follow him. It was essential that some people answered the call to organize the community and call forth the gifts within it.

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Listen to Your Heart

At Home in Our Faith - Third Sunday of Easter, Luke 24:13-35

Hands with heartsAfter the trauma of losing Jesus, witnessing his death, and then hearing that he is alive, his disciples were full of confusion and anxiety. What now? Can they believe the testimony of the women who claimed to see him? We relive those troubling emotions again this weekend when we hear the story of two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. They are so cast down that when Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, they don’t recognize him: “but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” The disciples had simply stopped looking for him. Being able to observe reality seems to require some measure of expectant faith. We need to see with the eyes of our hearts.

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Show me

IMG_2884.JPGSecond Sunday of Easter - John 20:19-31

Thomas was the hard case. He wasn't satisfied to accept Jesus' resurrection second hand. He wanted evidence. Jesus obliged him.

All of us have people like Thomas in our lives, people we love who are skeptics.  They may not have had the benefit of a childhood faith. The joy we have found in following Christ is a mystery to them, or even an annoyance. If God is a loving Father and Christ is alive, you couldn't prove it to them. Their experiences in life have done more to prove the opposite. What will open their eyes?


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In Plain Sight

puzzle heartFourth Sunday of Lent -- John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

The man born blind cries, "I see!" and yet it will take time before he can really see who Jesus is. His neighbors, used to seeing him as a helpless and hopeless beggar, cant be sure it's the same man when they "see" him healed and full of hope. The so-called wise authorities prefer not to see  that a miracle has taken place. They close their eyes to the Light that Jesus is bringing into the world. Closed hearts can be more blind than sightless eyes. 

Being members of the Christian Family Movement teaches us to see the world in a deeper, more insightful way that prompts us to take action--we call it Observe, Judge, Act. Our eyes become trained to see beneath the surface, beyond appearances. For Lent, let us ask for new eyes.

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Easter Encounter

IMG_2643.JPGCan I get a witness?

Easter - April 16, 2017

Hidden in the upper room, the disciples may have tried to console themselves that Jesus' great moral teaching would live on after him. The poor would surely take heart from his holy memory. Maybe they even started a five-year plan to spread Jesus' teachings to other cities. Or maybe they were wondering how to get their fishing boats back. Just when all seemed lost, Mary burst in with astonishing news: "I have met the Lord!"

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Strengthen Our Weak Knees

Sixth Sunday of Lent -- Matthew

DawnThe apostles look bad in the Passion story. Jesus had just spent the best years of his life trying to teach these men how to live in the presence of God. They had worn out several pairs of sandals following him up and down the land of Israel, seen dead people raised and lame people walk. Yet this band of disciples was unprepared to defend their Master. When the beloved followers of Jesus are asked to stand up and be counted, they stepped back. 

How refreshing! If the apostles, whom the Church will revere in cathedral windows one day, had their doubts and fears, there's hope for us! 

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The Gift of a Reprieve

TulipsFifth Sunday of Lent -- John 11: 1-45

When Jesus raised his friend, Lazarus, from the dead, Lazarus received an unexpected second chance. Suddenly, it was the "first day of the rest of his life." All his unresolved problems and debts were back in his lap. In the past, he probably quarreled with his neighbor or yelled at his sister or conveniently ignored an injustice in his town. With his life restored, his responsibilities to be a loving man returned. Now he had another chance to do things right. The gospel doesn't tell us how he made out.

How often we say, "If I had it to do over again...," yet the day ends before we make right our "trespasses." What are we waiting for?

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At Home In Our Faith Blog

Drink Deep

Third Sunday of Lent -- John 4: 5-42

In the Gospel story this Sunday, Jesus encounters someone from the Samaritan cultural group, those "other" people who were not like "us." This particular Samaritan was a woman, and not a "nice" woman, to boot. She had had many husbands, but she was living a lonely life. Even her neighbors avoided her company. Jesus sees straight into her parched and aching heart. He offers her Living Water and fullness of life in him. Here's a prime example of how meeting Jesus changes everything! 

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Mountain tops

Second Sunday of Lent 2017 -  At Home In Our Faith

Matthew 17:1-9

From the top of the mountain, the apostles, future leaders of God's people, saw more clearly God's glorious plan for them. They saw the Promised land. They heard the divine call to enter a new life in God. The experience would animate them through Good Friday an d the hard days to come. When all was dark, they remembered the mountain and glory. We all need mountain-top experiences to keep us going and give us hope.

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Spouses as Change Agents

They say that when a man marries a woman, he thinks, “She’s the one I’ve been waiting for.  She’ll never change.” – and she always does.  And a woman looks at her man, and thinks, “He just needs a little work; after we’re married, I’ll help him change” – and he never does.  The truth is that both men and women will change as time goes on:  Biologists tell us that every seven years we have totally replaced all the cells in our bodies with new ones.  

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