Sunday, April 22, 2012

Third Week of Eastertide

April 22, 2012
Third Week of Eastertide
Jesus and Thomas
John 20:19-29 “Do Not Doubt...Believe"

We don’t know why Thomas was not there the first time that Jesus stood among the disciples saying, "Peace be with you." Later they told him what had happened, and it was just too incredible. We have no reason to think that Thomas was a faithless person, less loyal to Jesus that the others. He just couldn’t believe the unbelievable. When Thomas encountered his risen Lord, seeing with his own eyes, hearing Jesus’ voice, touching the wounds, the incredible and unbelievable became a wondrous reality, and changed his life. It's difficult to believe what we can't see with our own eyes. During those times when we question, we can remember the story of Thomas, keeping our eyes open for signs of God around us. Our faithful friends may tell us that they have seen the Lord in their lives.  And we can feel the blessing of Jesus when we hold on to our faith and become one of “those who have not seen and yet come to believe.

” Prayer of Faith… I know, God, that through you all things are possible. Help me to remember this when my life is filled with doubt...when I am troubled by difficult moments and hard questions. And remind me that I have a community of faithful friends to turn to when I need to be reassured of your presence. May our knowledge of you shine ever more clearly within us, that we may perceive the breadth of your blessings, the extent of your promises, the height of your majesty, the depth of your judgments. St. Francis of Assisi, from his prayer inspired by the Lord's Prayer.

© 2012 Jean Foley

Monday, April 16, 2012

2nd Week of Eastertide

April 15, 2012
Second Week of Eastertide
Jesus Appears to Mary
John 20:11-18
"Why Are You Weeping?"

We know the entire Easter story, but Mary didn't know how the story
would end on that early morning when she went to Jesus' tomb. To her
amazement, the stone was rolled away...but even worse, Jesus' body was
gone! Of course Mary would be weeping! Jesus was probably the one
person she knew who loved her completely. And then, not only was
Jesus dead, but his body was missing.

But they weren’t mere humans who asked Mary why she was weeping.
They were "two angels in white" and Jesus himself who asked the
question. They obviously knew something she didn't! Finally, Jesus
spoke her name...then she knew who he was..."Rabboni"...her Great
Master and Teacher.

The refrain of an old favorite hymn describes this moment,
“And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.”

Prayer of Recognition...
Dear God, you know when I am hurting, and you know why I weep.
During times of pain, help me to remember that you are there with
me...that your love is the one thing that is constant in my life. Help me to
be open to your presence, so that like Mary, I can feel the joy of
proclaiming, "I have seen the Lord!"

“When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your
heart, I will let you find me,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:13-14

© 2012 Jean Foley.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

April 8, 2012
Easter Sunday
At the Empty Tomb

Mark 16:1-8
“He Has Been Raised!"

Our God is mighty! Even death could not hold him back! This very same God is present in our daily lives. When you are walking into an unknown situation, do you expect to see emptiness, pain or death? Or are you open to seeing the unexpected, maybe even a miracle? Today we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from death for each of us, paying the ultimate price for our sins and offering us life, abundant and everlasting!

What "dead" areas in your life do you want to be given new life? Can you give those things to God and ask for His blessing? What is it that's holding you back from being an "Easter person?" Ask God to let the news of Jesus' resurrection change you, your attitude, and your relationships. Remember how God showed his love for us and go and live a life filled with joy!

Prayer of Praise and Adoration...
All powerful and loving God, God of miracles, I praise you for your gift of new life. Today, I will be mindful of all of the ways that you have made the miracle of new life present in me. Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah and Amen!

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 26:36