#HolyWeek: Smelly Feet LOVE!!!

Holy Thursday takes us to the Upper Room where the first thing Jesus did was wash the feet of the disciples, humbly like a servant.

Across the world this evening thousands of lay people will have their feet washed by clergy. If my feet were chosen to be in-public-washees, I’d make sure they were clean, really clean.

At the time of Jesus, however, most folks wore sandals. It gets decidedly dusty walking around the Middle East, which would make the disciples’ feet dirty and smelly. But Jesus takes those smelly feet gently in His hands and washes the grime away.

Jesus, their Teacher. Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus, the Son of God.

Jesus, on His knees with a towel and basin, washing their feet.

Teaching them (& us) how to love one another.

If we loved others a little more often (vs. our readiness to judge others) maybe (just maybe) we might fulfill what Jesus Christ asked us to do:

“Do you know what I have done to you? If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet… As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you; abide in My love… This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:12, 14; John 15:9,12)

It’s time to put on our aprons of faith, roll up our sleeves and start washing smelly feet – loving each other as Christ loves us.

grace, peace & smelly feet love

Virginia : )

“Do not forget that true love sets no conditions; it does not calculate or complain, but simply loves.”  Saint Pope John Paul, II

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#HolyWeek: Open Hearts (a prayer for)

Here’s a prayer on this Wednesday of Holy Week…

“Open our hearts, God.

To instruction, unheard.

To possibility, unseen.

To love, unfelt.

To joy, unknown.

If we have been closed off, we repent.

And we ask You to open our hearts.

Amen.”

Joshua DuBois

grace, peace & open hearts

Virginia : )

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#HolyWeek: Let Nothing Disturb You…

As we prepare for Good Friday and Easter Sunday maybe a few fears lurking about in the corners of our hearts continue to erode our inner peace. (There are way too many scary things in our whacked out world today to send our hybee gybees grooves into overfright!)

But, that’s the thing about Easter. Good Friday takes all the darkness out of dark so that the Light of Christ may shine away the fears in our hearts.

“In You, O Lord, I take refuge…You are my rock of refuge, my rock & my fortress…” (Psalm 71:1-4)  If God is (truly) our Rock of Refuge, we can say (& believe) the words of one of my most favorite saints:

“Let nothing disturb you.

Let nothing affright you.

All things are passing.

God alone remains.”

Saint Teresa of Avila

grace, peace & (undisturbed) faith

Virginia : )

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#Holy Week: costly (& fragrant) worship

 “Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfumed oil.”  (John 12:3)

When we first meet Mary and Martha in the Gospels, Martha is busy in the kitchen while her sister, Mary, sits at the feet of Jesus. In today’s Gospel reading Jesus once again dines with them in Bethany. Since this visit comes after Jesus raised their brother Lazarus from the dead, we can imagine Martha worked long and hard in the kitchen preparing a special feast. We don’t hear any complaining from her this time, just “Martha served.”

On this Monday of Holy Week, we remember Mary’s act of fragrant worship anointing the feet of Jesus with costly perfume. I’d like to imagine Martha sitting next to her with a towel (so nothing stained the carpet.)

Sometimes I resonate more with Martha – getting things done, cooking in the kitchen, a make-it-happen person. Other times, I aspire to be like Mary – sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His words, basking in His presence, wiping His feet with fragrant worship.

Navigating our lives of faith, it’s really both and, not either or. Mary made a gesture of costly worship, but consider Martha’s intrinsic role in the household. If Mary blew a whole year’s worth of wages, wouldn’t Martha have a say in it? In a sense, this sacrificial act of worship came from both of them, but in different ways.

Just like at times our acts of costly worship can take different forms – changing diapers, care-giving, teaching, leading a team, studying, reaching out to colleagues (even irascible ones), giving of ourselves (our presence & presents), spending time in prayer and adoration (even when we’re slammed), laying down our lives for others.

All we do can be acts of worship, costly perfume, if we offer them up to Jesus and do them with the fragrance His extravagant love.

grace, peace & fragrant worship

Virginia : )

“We have three things to do…Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.”   I Corinthians 13:13 (The Message)

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Passion Sunday & The Cross of Christ

Today is Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday, when we recount palm waving Hosannas, the Last Supper, the agony in Gethsemane, the betrayal, trial, scourging, crucifixion, and the body of Jesus getting put into a grave. We’ll revisit these events throughout Holy Week, but next Sunday is Easter so today there’s lots to contemplate.

At the center of everything is the Cross and love of Jesus Christ, every nail of suffering driven in Him He endured for us that we might know His love and be set free.

“What has the Cross given to those who have gazed upon it and to those who have touched it? What has the Cross left in each one of us? You see, it gives us a treasure that no one else can give: the certainty of the faithful love which God has for us. 

A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and save us.”  Pope Francis

A blessed Palm & Passion Sunday to all…

grace, peace & eternal LOVE

Virginia : )

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#LENT: BEING IN GOD (& GOD IN ME)

On this Lenten Saturday, here’s a short quote to contemplate…

“In God is my being, my me, my strength, my beattitude, my good, and my delight.”  Saint Catherine of Genoa

grace, peace & God’s delight (& ours)

Virginia : )

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#LENT: Pumping Up Courage Muscles (with LOVE!)

“Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear.” (I John 4:18)  This is something I say over (& over) again: “God’s perfect love drives out fear.” Seems like there’s always something to be afraid of when fears of all shapes (& sizes) overpower our courage muscles (& not just @ night.)

Fear can cripple our courage muscles to be and do – because we don’t think we’re good enough, or we don’t want to get up again after falling down (failure, once again?)

Watching the Captain Marvel movie, one of my favorite parts is when the bad guys (no spoilers here) get in Captain Marvel’s head with scenes of her failures, but she turns herself around with pictures of how she got back up again & again (from a derby car crash as a child, to picking up a baseball bat after a fast ball knocks her down, to getting back up after falling during military ropes training.)

After she breaks free of failure constraints she then kicks some serious butt… (it’s a seriously fun movie, my big sis-not-a-super-hero-movie fan even enjoyed it.)

Maybe (unlike Captain Marvel) we’re having a hard time getting back up this go round with whatever is facing us, but we’re not alone. That’s the point: GOD’S LOVE is what drives our fears out and strengthens our courage muscles.

“The mystery of God’s love is not that He takes our pains away, but that He first wants to share them with us.” Henri Nouwen

“God is faithful even when we aren’t. When we lack courage, God doesn’t… When the disciples were weak, Jesus was strong. God is greater than our weakness. Our weakness reveals how great God is.” Max Lucado (“A Gentle Thunder”)

grace, peace & courage muscles

Virginia : )

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