A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Meditation Moments in Lent ~ Holy Saturday: Into the Silence ‘24

March 30, 2024 ~ Holy Saturday

Matthew 27:57-61

    When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. 

        Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, were there, sitting opposite the tomb ~ in the silence. In the silence of deep grief, the shock, the wide-eyed wonder of disbelief colliding with a reality that still hadn't quite set in. They are doing what must be done according to religious law and custom, but there is a nearly indefinable hollow space within them.
        In the midst of all of the "Easter" busy-ness, I must take time on this Holy Saturday and find the most silent place I am able to find even if only with sound-proof headphones on in the bathroom. I must breathe in the quiet, the stillness, the emptiness of the Marys. Yet I am also able to breathe with the relief of knowing how this day will turn into joy. But for however many minutes, and more if I steal the time away, I will sit with the Marys...waiting...hearing the stillness, the beating of our hearts, the deafening sound of silence...

Jesus, our Holy Redeemer,
     On this Saturday, let the silence of the Tomb engulf us as it did the followers of Jesus. In their stillness, they heard only the beating of their own sorrowful hearts. After Your cruel death, the night was long and dark and cold, and physically and emotionally painful in heart, mind, and soul.
     You know, as did all of Your Disciples, and for many of us in our own time, waking the day after a stunning and shocking loss, that day is just as confusing as the moment it happened, as first light offers a nano-second of forgetting. Then as sudden as the loss, the reality hits the psyche again as a lightning strike that penetrates deeply and burns hot. In their time, the followers of Jesus would still be in shock this day, knowingly yet futilely grasping at any hole in the truth that what they witnessed yesterday didn't happen, couldn’t possibly have happened. But it did happen. 
     Be with us, Lord, as yesterday and the day before, we had the opportunity to hear or read again the Gospel accounts of the last days of Your human life. Help us, on this day after, to pause from our busyness in preparing for the celebration of tomorrow. While we, in our time, know the next part of the story, those who knew You in their time did not. Open us, this day, to relate to the grief of those who knew and loved You in that time, their pain, their grief, their emptiness, their fear. Embrace us through the mercy of Your Redemption, to find courage and purpose and peace in answering Your call to return our souls to You, to know and live our love for You by being Your disciples in our time even when it is the most difficult thing to do. 
     Even as we know the story of what tomorrow will bring, let us go through this day and this night as if we do not. Take us into the silence of Your Tomb. amen. 


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Friday, March 29, 2024

Meditation in Lent ~ Holy Week: Good Friday ~ An Ending that isn't over... '24

March 29, 2024 ~ Holy Week: Good Friday

The Gospel of John 18:1-19:42

     In Wilmington, Delaware USA on Good Friday, for several years prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, my Episcopal Parish and choir of Sts. Andrew and Matthew (SsAM)with members of other congregations of various denominations, gathered to walk the city streets in procession, stopping at 8 different places that were designated as our Urban Stations of the Cross for that particular year. Some of the places chosen over time were community centers, shelters, food distribution organizations, the State Building housing criminal courts and State Offices, and neighborhood sites of prior and recent violence and death.
    Traditionally there are 14 Stations but in the interest of time and coordinating with the City for assistance in crossing busy streets, etc., 8 were chosen each year. The procession returned to SsAM for the 8th Station and a concluding prayer service. It was a humbling privilege to be asked to write the prayers for these Urban Stations each year being joined with the others who wrote for and planned these powerful experiences. The following was my contribution to the walk of 2017.
    If you have never experienced the Stations of the Cross, or even if you have many times, follow along as if on the walk in this year, in a personal meditation, through the last hours of the earthly life of Jesus.


1.      Jesus is condemned to die – Truth

Jesus, Scapegoat of Cowards, Messiah of Humanity, You were condemned to earthly death by the will of the self-interested, who, fearing loss of their local power, fueled and manipulated the rage of the discontented. As we walk through our human time, let us look deeper into Your Gospel to find our guidance, seeking the True Life of eternity with You.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
Grant us courage to follow and stand fast in Your TRUTH

2.      Jesus takes up his cross – Fortitude

Jesus, Messiah of Humanity, with courage and determination, You took on the cross, bearing its worldly weight upon your scourged and weary shoulders. Help us, in everyday moments and our deepest darkest times, to see Your cross as a symbol of survival, on our way to the never-ending joy of Life without shadow in Love’s Pure Light.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
Strengthen our hearts to persist in this life with Your FORTITUDE

3.      Jesus falls for the first time – Perseverance

Jesus, Messiah of Humanity, even in a most weakened physical state, You are our model of endurance, an example of pushing on through excruciating pain ~ physical, emotional, and spiritual ~ even in the most brutal stages of Life. As our Perfecter of Faith, reinforce our willingness to get up again and again and again, whenever we fall down in our faith in You.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
Empower us to run with PERSERVERANCE the race to everlasting peace.

4.      Jesus meets His Mother – Tenderness

Jesus, Messiah of Humanity, this exquisite yet tragic image of Mother-Son love reaches profoundly into the essence of us all. Infuse our souls with the instinct to protect and shelter each other in the midst of Life’s traumas – loved ones and strangers alike – as we are sheltered by Your Saving Grace.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
Inspire our hearts to reflect and offer the TENDERNESS of Your perfect love.

5.      The Cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene – Hope

Jesus, Messiah of Humanity, as even the strongest need a helping hand in a difficult time of Life, relieve us of our reluctance to give aid to another in trouble, for whatever the burden and whatever the cost.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
May the infinite HOPE of Your Sacrifice dwell deeply in our souls.

6.      Jesus and the women of Jerusalem – Compassion

Jesus, Messiah of Humanity, in Your most difficult moment in human Life, You show us an extraordinary example of empathy for others. Assist us as we strive to follow Your Commandments to love God, and to love others as if they were ourselves.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
Grant us the COMPASSION to know ourselves and others as Your very own.

7.      The Crucifixion – Acceptance

Jesus, Scapegoat of Cowards, Messiah of Humanity, as Your mortal time waned upon the cross, Your steadfast spirit gave way to accepting this price for the redemption of every single human Life. Let us take a moment to be still, to breathe deeply, to ponder the depth and breadth of emotion, the wonder and awe, of the moment that Your being transformed from lifeless Human to Eternally Divine.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
Empower our souls to know Repentance, Faith, Trust, and ACCEPTANCE of the trials of our Earthly time, caring for others as we care for ourselves, as our vehicle to Heavenly Glory. In the Shadow of Death there is Life, everlasting.

8.      Jesus is laid in the tomb – Life

Jesus, Messiah of Humanity, let us wait in quiet solitude, in the silence of the Tomb, for a radiant awakening in the dawn of New Life. Grant us a peaceful transition at our own time, being serenely willing and unflinchingly ready to rise again in Glory, free of sin and strife, through the magnitude of the Sacrifice by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christ, Lord of Life, Now and Forever
Transform our mortal sojourn by the way of Your Truth, Fortitude, Perseverance, Tenderness, Hope, Compassion, and Acceptance, as we await Your Glorious Resurrection and the LIFE of the World to Come. AMEN.


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Thursday, March 28, 2024

Meditation in Lent ~ Holy Week Maundy/Holy Thursday '24

March 28, 2024 ~ Maundy/Holy Thursday

The Book of Exodus 12:1-14
The Gospel of John 13:1-7, 31b-35

           For the Passover, God, through Moses and Aaron, promised protection to all whose homes displayed the blood of a sacrificed lamb and proclaimed it a day of remembrance forever. It is celebrated this year before sundown on April 22 and ends after nightfall on April 30. It is a Festival of Liberation remembering the Jews’ Exodus from slavery in Egypt.

    On this Thursday, Jesus knew his earthly life was coming to an end. In his final Passover supper with the Disciples, he gave them ~ and us ~ the mystery of the sacrament of His Body and Blood ~ the Eucharist [U-ka-rist]~ as a New Covenant with God, a perpetual remembrance of Him for the redemption of us all. On this night, Jesus surprised his Disciples by washing their feet, as a servant would do, to show them humility. And on this night, he told them that Judas would betray him, and, that Peter would deny him 3 times.
    The phrase “Last Supper” never appears in the Christian/New Testament as for Jesus and his followers, this was Passover, which occasionally occurs at the same time as Christian Holy Week/Easter, though not this year. The name for this day in our time varies with Christian worship traditions: Holy Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, or even Thursday of Mysteries. The Anglican/Episcopal tradition calls it Maundy Thursday which some say comes from the Latin mendicare for beg or, from mandatum for mandate or command. Maundy Money is a silver coin distributed by/for a reigning British monarch as a symbolic gesture to elderly pensioners on this day.
     We now enter the solemn Easter Triduum [trid-oo-um], a period of three days, that in its fullest extent, begins with a Liturgy tonight after sundown, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil on Saturday night or a sunrise service on Easter Day, and concludes with Evening Prayer on Easter night. Counting from sundown to sundownThursday to Friday is 1 day, Friday to Saturday is 2, and Saturday to Sunday is the 3rd day.  
     However your Christian denominational Tradition names it, on this night, Jesus said, I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another [John 13:34-35].

Jesus, Lamb of God,
         Tonight, we remember You in the Garden of Gethsemane with the disciples who could not stay awake with You for even one hour. In ordinary human existence it isn’t that hard to imagine escaping into sleep as someone else is praying for something you don't quite understand. Would I have had the prayer words I'd need? Do I have them now? How much time am I willing to give on this night, and in any day or night, to remember You in moments of joy, or in everyday life trying to pay bills, grocery shopping, or just filling the car with gas?  
         Lord Jesus, my Savior, thank You for who You were in Your human time and for who You are in our time. Help me to be a better reflection of Your love and humility in this world so that I may be known as a disciple, as a true Christian.
        And, Lord Christ, today I’ll give up blasting through life unconsciously and pay attention to all the people and all the activities of everyday life that I usually overlook as unimportant or even annoying. I’ll take on learning to love others every day close in and at a distance ~ family, friends, and strangers alike ~ and especially all those with whom I disagree. I’ll pray to be mindful of my thoughts, certain of my (um) spoken and unspoken language (!), and especially how what I think, say, and do, expresses or diminishes how I want to love You in, with, and for my time in this life. amen.


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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Meditation in Lent ~ Holy Week Wednesday: Forgiving THAT Guy? '24

March 27, 2024 ~ Wednesday in Holy Week

The Gospel of John 13:31-32 

         On this Wednesday, Judas Iscariot has conspired with the Sanhedrin to support their efforts to trap Jesus. He is paid the sum of 30 pieces of silver, enough to purchase a slave or a good potter's field. How much money is enough to sell someone's life to an enemy ~ what if the seller is a trusted friend of the one being sold? But of course, Jesus knew it would be Judas...
        Paul's letter to the Hebrews says: Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart [Hebrews 12:3]. When I have felt the world is against me, or life is just too hard, or I simply cannot cope with one more thing going wrong ~ did I ever once think of the suffering of Jesus at the hands of others? Have I ever thought of Judas if I did someone a wrong turn to benefit myself, even if "only" in a small way?  Perhaps Jesus is too big in my mind to compare myself to and perhaps I think Judas is too bad...  
        On this Wednesday in our time some churches mark this evening ~ or some others will on Maundy/Holy Thursday or Good Friday ~ with a service called Tenebrae [TEN-eh-bray]
.  The name comes from the Latin and means shadows or darkness.  The service consists of readings and chanted/sung Psalms while candles are extinguished in sets between readings and chants until the church is completely darkened. Often at the end, in the dark, a sudden loud noise ~ a gong, slamming a large book, or stamping of feet ~ is heard as a symbol of the earthquake that signaled the death of Jesus. Holy Wednesday in Holy Week, hearkens back to the penitence of Ash Wednesday just a few weeks ago, as the solemnity of the mood of this Week of Weeks deepens.


        O Jesus our Light, and the Redeemer of us ALL ~ this night reminds us of the story of Judas conspiring with the Sanhedrin and selling you out. This night makes us wonder how he could have done that to You. This night makes us shudder about ways we might have betrayed another for our own benefit even if in far lesser ways. We’ve used his name to mark another as a traitor, to feel better about ourselves. This night calls us to ponder true forgiveness ~ You have forgiven us for all of our sins and trespasses. But have we ever forgiven Judas, the only Apostle never called "saint," the only original Disciple to have died a remorseful death at his own hand, the only one Satan entered [John 13:2] to do the bidding that fulfilled the prophecy of our coming Messiah?  Who is a Judas in our own lives that we have not forgiven? In whose life have we been a Judas? 
      On this night, I will give up my judgement of Judas (and too many others). Who am I to demonize him or them? I will take on looking deeply into myself and to my own faults, betrayals, and selfishness. I will pray for myself, and us all, to begin to take a first step, and breathe the lightness of forgiveness into Judas Iscariot that lifts us. Certainly Jesus has. God has. The Holy Spirit has. If we can take that very small first step, then, with Your love and help, perhaps we can look at forgiving the Judas closer to home and forgiving, and then we feel forgiven and begin to forgive ourselves.  amen.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Meditation in Lent ~ Holy Week Tuesday: One. Single. Grain. '24

March 26, 2024 ~ Tuesday in Holy Week

The Gospel of John 12:20-36

        On this Tuesday, disciples Philip and Andrew told Jesus some visiting Greeks wanted to see him and he replied cryptically, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit... [John 20:24-26] 
       When he met with the Greeks he told them, "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say, 'Father, save me from this hour?' No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." When the voice came some of the people only heard thunder while others thought it was an angel speaking to Jesus. Jesus told them that the voice was for them to hear, not him.  
       Some questioned Jesus about who he was and what he was all about. He told them the light would be around a little bit longer and to walk in the light because if you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. If you believe in the light, he told them, "you may become children of the light." And with that, he went off and hid.


Dear Jesus, our Prophet and our Lord
         What must your words sound like to those who haven't read The Book or just don't know how things turn out? Sometimes I'm confused by those words and I have read them many times. On this Tuesday in Your lifetime, You told everyone what was happening in what seems like very plain words yet the message is not quite plain enough for us to grasp well. You were talking to God and the people around you were confused. Help us understand. 
        On this Tuesday in my lifetime it is a day like any other ~ laundry, meal planning, bill paying, list making ~ and Your list was clear enough in one sense: walk in the light ~ Your Light ~ and our believing will lead us to be Your children of Your light. It all sounds so easy and yet so hard at the same time. 
        Help me to give up being one of the grumblers with the thundering rumblings of the naysayers and the woe-begones around me. Open my heart, my head, and especially my soul to take on searching for and listening to hear the voice of God [particularly when I’m driving and everytime my head starts judging others]. Give me the courage to take on staying with Your light and not wandering off into the darkness of a life with no faith-filled purpose beyond chocolate bunnies, paper plates, and jellybeans. After the conversation on that Tuesday in Your time, You hid away...as I should do more often to spend time with You and think about how to live my life as a single grain of wheat, that grows in faith and purpose, and one day fills another field with its fruit. amen.


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Monday, March 25, 2024

Prayers of the People: This Son is Risen! ~ Easter Day '24 Yr B

For Sunday, March 31, 2024, Readings: Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 
1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18

  Peter began to speak..."I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable..."[Jesus] commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead...everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. [Acts 10:34-35] 

   Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever....On this day the Lord has acted and we will rejoice and be glad in it. [Psalm 118:1, 24]

For I handed on to you as of first importance...that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures... [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]

  Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher)…Jesus said to her…”go to my brothers and say to them I am ascending to my Father…” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples...”I have seen the Lord…” [John 20:16-18]

EASTER is here! Hallelujah!! Christ IS Risen!!!

    There are four Gospel accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This year we hear from the Gospel of John who tells us of Mary the Magdalene’s weeping at the tomb and, looking in, seeing two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had been placed. The angels asked why she was weeping. She turned around and saw Jesus but didn’t recognize him at first and then, she did…
    How long has it been since you took some time to reflect on what Easter actually means to you? How would you describe it? Listen to the readings as they are given aloud. If you weren’t listening or weren’t in Church, or if you did both, it’s easy now to find them on YouTube as so many Churches have been recording since the Pandemic. Take a listen and later, read the different accounts of the same event in different translations.*
   Take notes as you reflect on what surprises you and what questions arise. Notice the similarities and differences. Wonder, and try to decide, if one account speaks to you more than another and why? Visualize yourself in the time and place. Ask yourself: So what? ~ What does it all mean for my life today, tomorrow, and beyond? What will I start doing ~ or stop doing ~ as a result of reflecting on Christ's Death and Resurrection? Put your notes in a Bible or somewhere you can find them. Mark next year’s Easter on your phone’s calendar with a reminder to do this exercise again. Then, retrieve your notes from this year. Compare and contrast with the notes of the two years. Each time we listen and read, we hear/see new things and can often gain a fresh perspective and a new experience of the moments described. 
   The late Thomas Merton, who became a Trappist Monk after being a world traveler in his early life, says in his book, He is Risen:

Christ is the Lord of a history that moves. He not only holds the beginning and the end in his hands, but he is in history with us, walking ahead of us to where we are going…True encounter with Christ liberates something in us, a power that we did not know we had, a hope, a capacity for life, resilience, an ability to bounce back when we thought we were completely defeated, a capacity to grow and change, a power of creative transformation.

How important are the Gospel words in these times, for you?
    Let us seek fresh joy, that fuels a creative transformation. I want to dust off and resurrect my faith, to meet and be liberated by Christ beyond the tomb. I believe that the Resurrection of Easter requires the Cross of Good Friday, and as Christ is moving with us and before us, our path though not easy, will surely lead us into the eternal Easter of Life Everlasting.  
    And while you’re at it, don’t forget to be in touch with those for whom the Church is always distant and unattainable, who are isolated by age, illness, physical distance, and other reasons. A phone call, a note, a mail-ordered or just a small-but-hand-delivered Easter basket will go a long way to keeping Christ present by your presence in their absence from us…a little taste of heaven on earth goes a long way.
    Wherever you are on this planet whether bursting into Spring, slipping into Autumn, or somewhere in between, today the grace of his forgiveness our is assured always, again, and still, through this Risen Lord of All. This Son IS Risen! Hallelujah!

*The Resurrection accounts: Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-12 [13-44], John 20:1-18.

**For different translations, see https://www.biblegateway.com/. Just search on the passages listed and choose from a large number of translations. Some listed such as The Good News Bible, The Living Bible, The Message, etc., are not translations but paraphrases by authors choosing to make the more formal Scriptural language somewhat easier to relate the translations to everyday thoughts and speaking. It often helps in reverse by turning back to the Scripture to understand it more clearly.


Leader:  ~ O Christ, Risen! On this Day the Lord has acted! We will rejoice and be glad in it. In the midst of the darkness and fear in this world, let us revel in the Divine Light of Your Glorious Resurrection.
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                   Response:     Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! ~  Your Death and Resurrection fulfilled the Scriptures as the Sacred Victim of political murder, feared most by those whose political power was/is merely temporal and time-limited. Help us strive to remind those who now hold earthly power in our World, in our Country and in our Community, that God shows no partiality and all are acceptable and forgiven through You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                             Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! Lavish Your healing grace and hope upon all who are ailing in body, mind, or spirit, and all who give them daily care. We now join our hearts to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                             Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! Our grateful hearts commend to You those we love, who have risen with You into the heavenly peace and splendor of life everlasting. We pray especially for… add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                            Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! We pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                            Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! Infuse the leaders of Your Church with limitless energy and interior peace, as they strive in ever more creative ways, to guide our prayer and encourage us to follow Your Truth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                            Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
The Celebrant adds: Holy Redeemer Christ, Resurrected in Glory, in dying You destroyed our mortal death; in rising You claimed salvation for our souls. Release us from temporal distractions that entomb us in this earthly life, and set us again on the path to our True and Eternal Life in You. We ask through the Holy Spirit, the Divine Breath of New Life; and our Merciful Impartial Creator, who together with You are One God in Glory, Boundless, and Everlasting. Amen.

All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution and edited for local use as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com

Meditation in Lent ~ Holy Week Monday: After the Hosannas... '24

March 25, 2024, Monday in Holy Week

    MONDAY, after all of the joy and excitement of Palm Sunday, sees Jesus back in the town of Bethany.  On the previous Saturday, Jesus came to raise his friend Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead in the tomb for four days, and his sisters Mary and Martha were in anguish.  Now on this day, Jesus returns to a dinner by Martha to see Lazarus and enjoy a meal among his closest friends. Mary decides to welcome him ~ in the traditional way of hospitality of the time ~ by cleaning and anointing His feet but instead of a simple washing, she uses an exquisite ointment known as Nard. Then she dries His feet with her hair.  
    One of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, makes a snide comment about the expensive perfumed ointment that Mary used saying that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. He didn’t care about the poor. He was in charge of the money and also a thief skimming money for himself off the top of whatever had been donated to the group of Jesus and his disciples.  Jesus, supportive of Mary's actions, told Judas that Mary had purchased the jar of Nard in preparation for Jesus' own death and burial and that, "You always have the poor with you but you do not always have me."
    Meanwhile, a great crowd was assembling to see Jesus and Lazarus together.  The chief priests were not at all pleased at this development, especially after throngs of excited people along the entry route into Jerusalem the day before. They decided that they would put both Jesus and Lazarus to death. All that was being said of the miracle of raising of Lazarus were turning Jews away from the religious authorities of the Synagogue toward this Jesus. The chief priests felt their own power threatened by this new and very powerful prophet. 
    Have you ever really experienced the tension of this week because of knowing the outcome? Try to imagine it. Listen, hear. Be there. Immerse yourself in the Gospel of Mark 14:1-15:47 over this week. Live into them. Attend the Stations of the Cross in person or online. Also be present for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Be here in our own time, with mounting tension in this country and around the world, with political executions and increasing violence. Think about racing through a favorite mystery to find out whodunit, or almost biting your nails in a thriller movie not knowing the end. The clock is ticking...

Sweet Jesus,

       On this Monday in Holy Week, the Gospel speaks of You relaxing at dinner with friends and being pampered as we go about the busy-ness of everyday life. How unaware are we today, as were the disciples on that day, of the significance of this week in our own lives as Christians? 
       The Sanhedrin were plotting against You, and we are making lists of necessities for Easter Day, including bunny-shaped chocolates and marshmallow peeps in brightly colored baskets with plastic grass and hard-boiled eggs dyed in multiple colors. Where, in this country and in the world at large on this day in our time are executions, official and individual, being planned and carried out against innocent people? How many unknown women, men, and children will be brutalized for their religious beliefs, their race, gender, ethnicity, who they love, or simply because they seem to be a threat to some person or group in power? 
     Grace us with Your spirit Lord, let us Your followers, hear and pay attention to that still small voice inside that tells us to take a moment today to Give Up a few minutes of our ordinary Monday to Take On truly reflecting on what the events of Holy Week, and especially Easter Day, mean to us in our faith journey. Pray for insights and opportunities to make even a small yet positive difference in someone’s life today and often. 
      Remind us to give thanksgiving for the ordinary parts of a day that make up an extraordinary life for the many of us that don't have to fear murderous persecution. Help us to remember and realize, today, why it is that we're privileged to be gathering fun fillings for an "Easter Basket?" 
    It's only Monday and much more than shopping and preparing an Easter Feast is yet to come during this very sacred, Holy Week.  amen.



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Saturday, March 23, 2024

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 34: Give Up, Take On, Pray '24

Saturday, March 23, 2024 ~ Day 34

     It is most comfortable to be invisible, to observe life from a distance, 
at one with our own intoxicating superior thoughts.

~ Anne Lamott*  

    I'm not sure it's invisibility that I would find comfortable, perhaps just being aloof and observing from an overhead vantage point or from my own personal pedestal. There are times when I like being close enough but far enough away, keeping everyone at arm's length. Then I can dish in my own head with clever if less than kind judgments, point my (invisible) finger at those who are merely common in their small lives, while I in my brilliance could solve all personal and global issues if I allowed them close enough for me to impart my wisdom. 
    And then, something in my head breaks out into:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
[Isaiah 55:8-9 NRSV]


Dear Most Superior Invisible One,
    I realize that my own self-described superior thoughts aren’t worth much at all if I'm using them to be condescending to others. Clearly I am not giving away the love and grace You are providing to me to share generously with others (and myself), even if only silently at times.
   For today, I’ll give up being merely an observer of people from an impersonal distance. I’ll take on becoming more up close and personal, when appropriate and comfortable for another. I’ll pray to remember that I'm not the judge of others, which, anyway, is more likely a reflection of how I judge myself. Help me to remember, daily, that the life You have given us is to be lived knowing You are within us and seeing the radiance of Your love in every single person we meet. No matter my presumption of the life circumstance, attitude, faith practice or lack of, politics, size, age, gender, etc., of another, You have taught me to love that neighbor as myself. Having You to lean on, turn to, and continually learn from is a far better way to experience superior intoxicationamen.


*Anne Lamott [1954 - ], is an American political activist and author of non-fiction and novels all largely autobiographical and with her signature wit, humor, and self-deprecation. Tackling alcoholism, single-motherhood, and depression, Lamott brings us in to everyday American situations with down-to-earth, sometimes irreverent vocabulary and structure that cuts directly to the center of life.

 Oh Lord it's Hard to be Humble: 

All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution and edited for local use as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com