Glimpse of God for the week of January 13, 2019
This week’s Glimpse of God comes in the form of a different kind if rainbow, the one of friendship. When we look at a rainbow, we see the many beautiful colors that together create the bow in the horizon. When I look at a rainbow I am always struck with a sense of awe and wonder. When I close my eyes, I am always filled with a spirit of joy, great hope and a deep abiding sense of peace. Friendship is a different type of rainbow in that it also renews my joy, deepens my peace and strengthens my hope. It is in friendship where I recognize the promise and presence of God in and through His beloved sons and daughters. I am blessed that I have people that I consider friends, and even more blessed that they consider me their friend.
In all of the conversations and laughter of this week: at Assisi House with the Sisters and Clover, at Saint John’s Hospice, with the homeless men for our monthly faith sharing, and with parishioners that attend dally mass, I was witness to a different kind of rainbow; a promise being fulfilled. The meeting up with friends is an incarnational sign of the fulfillment of God’s promise that He would always be with me, and that He would never leave or forsake me. I saw it in the many friendships that I have been blessed to have, especially with the Sisters at Assisi house, the men at SJH and parishioners that attend daily Mass. They all remind me that we share a bond of faith in Christ and compassion, peace and presence.
The friends that were gathered were the extension of that promise as Members of the Body of Christ. As faithful, faith filled individuals, trying to live and be the best people that God has created them to be, and sinners striving to be saints, they are tangible witnesses of God’s presence in my life. Their presence reminds me that God’s promise is being fulfilled in the many different and varied ways. They are signs of hope when things are tough. They are merciful and joy filled. They are instruments of peace and vessels of hope. They are humble disciples that through their lives profess their love for God, others and self.
The gifts of friendship, the gift of a rainbow, the gift of self are three of the many signs of God’s love. We are all signs of God’s love for and to each other, but do we know that, and if we know it, do we believe it?
This week, especially in the barrenness of winter with the snow on the ground, and the cold temperatures, take a moment to be refreshed and filled with hope as you think of the rainbow as a sign of promise, new life and of hope, I would like to look at the colors of the rainbow and the meaning in the colors as you look at what friendship means.
Sunday (RED) – Love.
The gift of God’s love for you, your love for God, your love for self and your love for others. Can you let your heart be expanded so that it can be filled with more love? Has your heart been broken that you are afraid to love? Let God, through your friends, be a source of healing, consolation and peace. If you allow friends to love you as you truly are, with your flaws and your virtues, then you can stand before God in a spirit of humility, and peace.
May your prayer today be that of a better and more God centered understanding of love, and how much He loves you and how loved you are by others.
Monday (ORANGE) – Openness
Are you open to the surprises that God has in store for you? Are you ready to receive the many graces that will transform, conform and reform you into a clearer image of God to others? Can you stand before others and humbly accept their honest criticism so as to grow? Is the door of your heart open so Christ can enter in and rest, abide in you?
May your prayer today be that you open your mind and heart to the presence of Christ and how He chooses to reveal Himself.
Tuesday (YELLOW) - Joy
Joy is not the denial of pain or suffering, but the trust that in and through it, God is present. Joy comes when you realize that God’s presence is the source of your happiness. Do you want to be a joyful person? Are you surrounded by joyful people? Are your friends joyful people? Is the joy of the Eucharist, the true presence of Christ in your life, your spiritual foundation and the foundation of your friends?
May your prayer today be one that seeks to stand in the light of your cross and its truth, with a spirit of humility, courage, joy and gratitude.
Wednesday (GREEN) - Hope
Do you have hope? Are you a messenger of hope?
May your prayer today be one that allows the love and peace of God transcend your stress, alleviate your suffering and transform your mind so that you can be a hopeful, hope filled person of faith.
Thursday (BLUE) - Rebirth
Do you remember the promises that were made for you at baptism by your parents and Godparents? Can you close your eyes and allow the feeling of God’s love washing away your sins and making you whole? We love our friends for who they truly are, from what we see to what we know lies in their heart.
As a human being we sin and offend God and those we love the most, are we merciful to those around us? In and through our baptism, we enter into the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do we embrace our mission as His disciples or do we run from it?
May your prayer today be that of a greater courage and strength so that you may embrace your call as God’s disciple, carry your cross with a greater self-conviction and determination, and choose to witness to His presence in your life, so that you may be His beacon to those you encounter: family, friends, neighbor and stranger,
Friday (INDIGO) - Integrity
Are you a person of integrity? Do you have strong moral principles? Do you stand up as a witness to your faith? Do you see in yourself and in your friends: a person of good character, a fair person, a person that is truthful and trustworthy? All these virtues are aspects that make and create a rainbow of friendship.
May your prayer today be that to grow in the integrity of God and be able to recognize it in others.
Saturday (VIOLET) - Peace
Is there someone you need to forgive so that you can be at peace with them? Is your heart troubled and do you want to experience peace, healing and reconciliation? Can you allow your friends to help you and bring you the comfort and peace that Christ wants for you?
May your prayer today be to be a peacemaker, open to God’s call, and an instrument of His peace, integrity, joy, love, hope, and mercy
Glimpse of God for the week of January 6, 2019
My glimpse of God for this week is being left to you, don’t be surprised, you are a Glimpse of God and therefor you have the ability to see God in so many and varied ways. BUT…in recognizing the many and varied ways that God chooses to reveal Himself, one is also called to recognize that it is not only in what one sees, but in also what one speaks, hears, touches, and senses.
As I reflect on recognizing the presence of God in and through people, events, surroundings and various situations, I must first realize that I need to be open to God and how He chooses to reveal Himself, not how I choose to see Him. I can choose to have tunnel vision where I only want to see Him in the good, the pretty, the easy things and the niceties of life, or I can choose to ask for the grace to recognize Him in the bad, the ugly, the tough, the forgotten, the rough and the lost.
Being a Glimpse of God is a gift that enables one to be His instrument, His beacon, His light, His mercy, His compassion, His love and His presence to others, but most importantly to one self. We radiate who we are and not just what we are. If we recognize that we are God’s beloved, we radiate a sense of being loved beyond our sinfulness. Our identity lies in being God’s children and as God’s children, we have the knowledge that He loves us to death and that we can never lose that love.
So how do you and I live in light of that knowledge and love? Each day we are all given the grace to exude God’s presence to those we encounter. We can choose to reject that grace and not be His witness in our world, or we can choose to accept that grace and be the best witness to His presence that we can be and that we are called to be.
This week take time to recognize with a sprit of humility how God has been and continues to call you to be His instrument, His glimpse to those you encounter each and every day. But first take the time to see why He has chosen you. It wasn’t a random choice, or a draw of the cards, or in a lottery, but rather He formed you in the womb, breathed in you the breath of life, and continues to give you life through the Sacraments of the Church, and the presence of others to nurture, sustain and strengthen you on your faith journey.
SUNDAY - with the eyes of our heart to see as God sees and not as we choose to see sometimes with our self-righteous blinders on. To see reconciliation instead of being angry or holding a grudge, to see peace when the war of words or revenge are brewing, and to see embracing instead of keeping one at a distance.
How are the eyes of your heart revealing the presence and love of God in your life today so that others may also experience it? Let us count the ways……….
MONDAY – with our voice as we give a voice to the voiceless: the unborn, the elderly, the forgotten, all those in our community and Church whose voice has been silenced, smothered or suffer from a bad sore throat from having to yell to be heard or listened to.
How will you let your voice be the breath of God and the whisper of love of love to those you encounter today that need to hear from God?
Let us count the ways……….
TUESDAY – with our hands as we reach out to lift up those who are bowed down because of heavy burdens. Sometimes our hands are crippled with arthritis and they don’t have the freedom of movement that we wish they did. Can you imagine when another’s heart, soul. the very core of their being, is crippled with arthritis, and the ability to be flexible and free to experience hope, joy or peace is painful because of a heavy cross or burden? We can choose to lift up those who are heavily burdened by folding our hands in prayer, where not even arthritis can debilitate our relationship with God.
How will your hands, heart and soul defeat being arthritic today? Through prayer, through a handshake, through a gentle touch, through mercy through a clap?
Let us count the ways……….
WEDNESDAY - with our feet as we walk with another on their journey of pain, struggles, heavy crosses, celebrations and joys.
The reality is that we can’t stand without our feet, they give us the strength and balance to stand up and take our steps. Sometimes our feet, our legs, hamper us from being able to stand and we need to stay seated in a wheel chair or lay in a bed. But he the reality is that we can still use our feet to be a Glimpse of God to those we encounter. How…by wanting and praying for a spirit of empathy and understanding, courage and conviction. We pray for these graces so that as we encounter those whose crosses are heavy and they can’t seem to find the hope, strength or reason to take the next step, we can offer them our prayers, share our hope, and promise them our love as they seek to move on one step, one prayer at a time.
How many steps will you take today that will enable and empower another to move forward on their journey of faith and self-discovery?
Let us count the ways……….
THURSDAY – with our sense of smell so that we can honor those who prepare and serve meals to those who are hungry: family, friends, community, homeless, unemployed, aged and ill. The aromas that surround a meal are endless and, in many cases, enjoyable, but there are aromas that make us want to turn away, run away, and even hold our noses. We are a Glimpse of God when we recognize and honor those who prepare our meals, and not take them for granted: our parents, our siblings, and members of our community. But God also provides us with other opportunities, not so enjoyable, to be His Glimpse in the midst of various aromas. To be His Glimpse of compassion, acceptance, love and mercy instead of rejection, revulsion, disgust and annoyance. How do you respond to a person who exudes a very strong body odor that wreaks, or you see a picture of a homeless person who hasn’t showered recently? What thoughts go through your mind? Where is God directing those thoughts? When we pass judgment on what we see or smell, hear or imagine, we overshadow God’s Glimpse with judgement ant that just stinks.
So how will your sense of smell be a pleasing aroma to God in your prayer? Will it be through the redirected prayer for acceptance and not rejection and judgment of another? Will it be in gratitude for those who prepare your meals and or provide the ingredients for the meals that you partake of?
Let us count the ways……….
FRIDAY – with our sense of hearing. What we choose to hear or listen to is our choice. We can have selective hearing and only take in those voices, words that make us feel good, are pleasing or make us the center of attention. We can hear everything but it is what we choose to listen to that is crucial. I believe that we hear with our ears, but listen with our hearts. We can choose to tune out those who go against us as well as we can choose to listen to gossip and those things that are foul, not life giving but destroy life. When there is one who needs a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen to them and we consider them a burden and make excuses to avoid them, we are deafening God’s Glimpse and making an unpleasing noise. After all, God listens to our prayers, our woes, our anger, our excuses, our joy, our pains, and He never turns away from us, instead gathers us closer to Himself so that we can feel His loving, listening embrace. Shouldn’t we try to do the same for another? Some of us might not be able to hear as well as we used to and might need hearing aids, but in the spiritual sense, hearing aids are God’s gift that enables us to hear and listen past the noises of our society culture and clamor, and listen instead to the heart of God’s beloved children.
Will your ability to listen to the needs and concerns of another bring them to hear God’s voice and listen as He calls them His beloved son or daughter? Will you be the instrument that allows one to hear and listen to God’s message of love, acceptance, and peace? How will you lend your ears today to be His Glimpse?
Let us count the ways……….
Your senses have been busy this week. You have been a Glimpse of God in so many new and varied ways. Now take the time, take today as you begin the weekend, to see how others have been a Glimpse of God to you by how they have used their senses to radiate His presence in your life. As you reflect on the gift of your senses, take a moment to pray for those who have lost their senses.
Pray for those who are blind, that although they may not be able to behold the beauty that surrounds them, that they embrace and behold the beauty that is within them.
For the deaf, that although they may not be able to hear the sounds that are around them, that they listen to the voice of God that speaks to their hearts,
For those who feel spiritually isolated and alone, that although they may feel the weight of their burdens and think that they can’t take another step, that the love, compassion, empathy and prayers of others, bring them peace, strength, and courage to face their journey one , one prayer at a time.
For those who have lost their sense of humor, that the joy that God wants and has in store for them bring them to smile just a little bit more and laugh even harder.