At the parish retreat, we all received bracelets bearing the Cross of Jerusalem. I made it a goal of mine to wear it everyday until the next retreat as a way for me to always be mindful to be a disciple and to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open for encounters with Christ. It was a good way for me to remember that being a disciple is a choice - to either wear it or set it aside. I found it to be a positive challenge to me to continue to choose to be a disciple whenever I felt the urge to take it off. Another positive aspect was that it allowed me to wear my faith on my “sleeve” if you will, as people would see the bracelet peek out of my shirt sleeve or in plain sight next to my watch as I run, and opened a conversation between us about faith.
As I was helping a woman load a heavy A/C unit into her shopping cart at a Walmart recently, the thread holding the medallion of the Cross of Jerusalem broke. Instead of being upset, the situation made me think of how Christ sacrificed himself to help us. Christ broke himself to make our broken selves whole, and he continually breaks himself in the Eucharist for us. My bracelet could have broke off at any other time in any other circumstance, but I’m glad it was with helping someone whose name I may never know, and it's my hope they will offer an act of kindness to another.
For now the medallion rests on the item I most have on me: my keys. While not literally on me, it'll remain to serve as a reminder to me to continually be a follower of Christ.
I have an acquaintance who I have known over the last several years. And through various superficial interactions and observations, I have made several presumptions about her in my mind. This past year I have been able to get to know her a little better and have found that she is a very caring and loving, generous with her time and resources, and truly believes in the goodness of those around her. These are all contrary to to the image I had made of her in my mind.
It was as if Jesus gently telling me, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." Matt. 7:1-2 and "Do not consider (her) appearance..., for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1Sam 16:7
Gee, without realizing it, while I was cleaning, I realized how God really does make good come from evil, beauty from ugliness. This was only stains on this drain that would have taken me forever to perfect. Without perfecting, I left half the stains strategically and it ended up pretty!!!!!! I felt like "yesssss", this is my encounter with Jesus today, thank you Dear Lord.
When my friend and I crossed into W. Virginia on our motorcycles we were confident that the worst of the threatening weather was behind us, but as we continued on that twisting narrow two lane blacktop mountain road the skies suddenly opened up with a deluge of rain not often seen. My vision was nearly zero as I could only make out the red taillights of my friends motorcycle a few yards ahead. After a short time the rain stopped just as quickly as it started and a magnificent rainbow formed its arch directly in front of us-not in the sky but in a forested area- from one side of the road to the other and not more than 15 or 20 ft. high, like a gate. As we rode through the arch we seemed to be clothed in the colors and the entire landscape became surreal as it took on a misty hue of multiple colors, even as we rode through several curves. My friend commented that it seemed to be following us. I think it was God saying, “ Just so you know, it was (I) who led you through that storm.”
Hearing Fr. Satish's struggle with being away from his parents helped me as I came to terms with my kids moving far away from home.....Let us be bread blessed by the Lord, broken and shared, life for the world....
There was potential for trouble but I had determined I owed it to myself to set the record straight. I truly felt I had been mis-judged. Fr. Satish's Easter homily and the words, "Easter is an invitation to be like Jesus even when it seems we are losing," brought me upright! I really have no complaints.
I encounter Christ in my husband as he mentors a refugee and assists her family as they adjust and settle in a new country.