Leaving Everything Behind

LK 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

Reading this passage I get this image in my mind. I can’t help it. I don’t know how good of an analogy it is, but it works for me. I can see a father taking aside a rebellious teenager in order to bond and to bring him back into the way of the family. I see the teenager’s siblings looking on with jealousy and disbelief as the father gives this extra attention to the one who, in their opinion, didn’t deserve it. Honestly. The child causes so much trouble and discord and here he is being rewarded by more attention?

I can hear the indignation two thousand years later.

And really, isn’t that what the Pharisees are doing? Pointing fingers at the slight that they see without looking at the bigger picture. Part of the image I see in my mind is a disapproving father frowning and saying that he needs more help to come back to the good path.

Prodigal son, anyone?

What This Means To Me

Am I a jealous sibling or an accepting patient child? Am I a pharisee or a disciple? Am I jealous of the sinner’s attention or accepting that I am a sinner myself with just as much to work on?

The truth becomes another slap in the face. We see ourselves as good and holy, doing the right thing. How often is there a little voice in the back of our heads pointing out that we are more holy than others we see. I could be wrong but I believe it is only human to have the voice. Our way to perfection, in my opinion, is on how long we allow the voice to sow seeds of dissent before shushing it. After shushing it often enough, I’m sure it will become silent all together.

And that would bring us to where God wants us. Being His face to those around us. If we do not echo Him, or at least try to, how to we bring Him to those who cannot see Him?

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Taken Away

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.”

MT 9:14-15

When I meditate on this passage I get stuck on the entire concept of fasting. Fasting is one of those things that few people want to do many most can agree with the necessity. Fasting is not necessarily a religious act either. Some people fast in protest and others for health reason. Some, the poor, fast because they have no choice in the matter. I am blessed that it doesn’t happen often, but even I have gone without to allow my son something to eat when money is tight.

The fasting that Jesus is discussing with the disciples of John is a religious fasting that occurred regularly. Not the type of fasting anyone would want to do aside from wanting to please the Other. In this passage Jesus reminds us that when He is with us there is no need to fast and morn. We should be joyful of His presence first.

What This Means To Me

Here comes the personal diary part of this blog. What sticks most with me is Jesus’ emphasis on how the bridegroom will be taken away and then the time for fasting will come. On the surface I know we are looking at the crucifixion. But you can connect it with todays life if you look a little deeper. Jesus is with us in the Eucharist. Sundays are not counted amidst our Lenten sacrifices. There is no need to mourn Him while He is with us. Look deeper.

What truly seperates us from Jesus? Our sins. It is not just the crucifixion taking Jesus away from the disciples, but our sins taking us away from Him.

So how do we fix that? Really fix it. If we look deeper at the analogy of fasting. What is fasting? In essence… doing without. We need to fast from that which pulls us away from Jesus. Is it the same thing every day that pulls us away from God? Not necessarily. It can be, to be sure. I used to give up Chocolate for Lent. It was easy. It was something that I shouldn’t have so much of. But did it really serve the purpose.

My Lenten sacrifice this year is to focus on my faith and that which draws me away from God. Each day the devil will work towards drawing me away. My goal is to fight the good fight on a daily basis to bring myself back. I plan on starting with these daily blog entries based on praying the Lectio Divina. I am sure there will be plenty to try to stop me. That which tries to stop me will become my Lenten sacrifice.

Will I be successful? I’ve already missed two days so I do not believe I can be called out as being perfect. It does mean that I have made a decision and will work to being a better child of God. That is all he ever asked of us.

Sit With Me

Come, my child,
Sit for a spell.
Because life is wild,
Listen to this story well.

A story that is full of pain,
You’ve had your share, no doubt.
It has parts where love will reign
But along an unfortunate route.

Two shall meet, eyes full of hurt,
Trouble brewing worse than ants,
A treasure’s authenticity slinging dirt.
But trust will tilt the balance.

Listen close, I can feel you go,
The story is not all heart break.
There is adventure and a foe
And trouble for gossip to make.

Come back, it is not just talk.
I promise a strong tale of lore.
Please lean closer, stop your walk,
My talk will not be a bore.


via Wordle 265 — The Sunday Whirl

This week’s wordle is dedicated to everyone who visits people in nursing homes. Whether it be for religion, sharing information, or just to listen. Your deed has not been ignored. Visit Create the Good to learn more about volunteering with seniors.

Ode to Nature’s Cleansing

IMG_0018

Threats of wind and rain
Bringing loved ones home
Fear of the unknown’s pain
Waiting for the ones that roam

Waiting for that one call
To share safety’s news
Praying for none to fall
And speedy rescue crews

Cleaning the grounds like a flush
Buildings and bridges go under
Water rapids flowing in a rush
Waiting out the next thunder

The press of time to beat the flood
Tender thoughts for those that left
Nexus of storms weaving walls of mud
Nature’s swear and Heaven’s list

Oct 4 Sunday Whirl

Flood Waters in South Carolina

I just wanted to share with everyone who might look at my writing site what is going on right now. The video below was taken by yours truly today. The bridge is right near where I live. I hope everyone else is safe out there.

Quote

Memories of a long time past

All are now just memories

Experiences and dreams amassed

Gone as the mind empties

A mural of community

Of times long passed

Once a symbol of unity

Now a face recast

A building with a new face

A painting gone without a trace

Will everything be changed

When the past is rearranged?


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ode to a Playground.”

In memory of a mural I helped paint on the side of one of my high school buildings. Now gone and the building part of our town Recreation Department.

Changes

A Christmas Prayer

That time of year has come again

For singing of good will to men

That holy day approaches fast

While we still remember the last

A scar is found on the holiday

As we buy gifts and forget to pray

Rushing about for that best gift

All alone our spirits shift

A sigh instead of laughing

Our good will turns to acting

As we ingest our holiday drink

Hoping to pull us from the brink

At the midnight chime arrival

We celebrate holiday survival

Pale and drained we start to pray

That we’ve not forgotten any today

I offer up my silent prayer

For all who stray into the snare

That your Christmas is all it ought

Just as plain as we were taught

** Wordle #193 Recon I can use this as my next year’s Christmas card? 😉 Merry Christmas everyone!

Aside

I took the plunge and it’s scary as all get out.

I’ve published my first book on Smashwords.com. If you like you can find it at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/502527 and soon it should be available at any eBook retailer. Until the end of the year you can purchase it from Smashwords for half price using the coupon code: QS63Q

Children of the Great King

A Choice: Dark Garden or Alone in the Night

Dark Garden

At a crossroads in life

I shiver in my strife

I stand alone in the night

On a path thick with mud

Wise owl, where is your wisdom?

Where do I get the fervor from?

Crystal dew begins to enthrall

While Suicide Tree stands near

Diamond sparkles in the inky night

Brings a decision to greater height

Missing birds thread the air

Crocus tears fill my heart

Flower beads on rose thorns

Shine while the moon warns

I shiver in my strife

At my crossroads in life

rose thorns with dew drops

Alone in the Night

As I sit alone in the night

Suicide Tree standing behind me

A lone owl quiets my fright

As it becomes a mortal tree

In the lightening dawn I now can see

The dew tipped rose and crocus petals

Draw me from the crossroads behind me

The sun shine shrinks the mud and nettles

The awakening of the birds, all free

Has awakened a thread of peace

The dark fervor shaken from me

Thorns in my heart release

 crocus