2015.01.24: call of the sinner

When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind. – Mk 3:21

it’s easy to feel less than perfect
when scripture tells stories
of those who answer his call
without so much as a hesitation
yes for them seems to be reflex
like a knee jerking when tapped

it’s so hard to say yes
when the trials are unknown
what if yes means
facing one’s greatest fears
what if yes means
rejection by family and friends
what if the cross
is heavier than one can bear

it became easier to say yes
after i spent but one hour
in the Garden with Him
for it wasn’t in the desert
that temptation was the greatest
it was in the Garden
that saying yes was agony

the Garden changed the call
it’s no longer “Follow me”
his words were “You can’t go
where I’m going yet”
for me the question became
“Will you remain with me?”

it’s so much easier
when saying yes simply means
opening the door of the heart
to Him who promised:
“I am with you always,
until the end of the age.”

it’s so much easier to say yes
when recalling His words:
“I did not come to call
the righteous but the sinner.”
Here i am, Lord, a sinner.

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2015.01.23: conversion

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. – Mk 3-13

from the mountain
the call sounds forth

every day
he calls us

each by name.
all he asks

is for us
to stay

by his side.
every day

is a conversion
of the heart.

2015.01.22: a priest like no other

we have such a high priest, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. — Heb 8:1-2

you are a priest like no other
sacrifice and oblation you wished not
burnt offerings and sin offerings you required not
you opened ears to hear the good news

you are a priest like no other
in the Temple you did not dwell
you walked throughout the land
healing the sick with only a touch

you are a priest like no other
only one sacrifice did you ever offer
an unblemished lamb and a sinless priest
a perfect offering to end all sin offerings

you are a priest like no other
in this sinner’s heart you set up
your sanctuary, a true tabernacle to hold
the perfect love that is your law

you are a priest like no other
with delight i do your will
i will not restrain my lips
forever i will sing your praises

2015.01.21: a changed heart

Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. Mk 3:5

who do you think you are, Christ? welcoming
the sinners, the tax collectors, the deformed,
the lepers, and all the other unwanted. surely
you know that heaven is only for the perfect;
those that follow the laws, tithe one tenth,
and keep the sabbath. keeping the traditions
and safeguarding the Temple that houses
the Covenant is what keeps God protecting
us. how dare you risk all that?

how do you do it, Lord? i came seeking you in the
synagogue on the sabbath. you acknowledged me when
the others didn’t even though i was once counted
among their company. you healed me of my afflictions
and forgave me my sins. you poured out your love into
a heart once hardened. i am a rebuilt temple of your
new Covenant. all that you ask is for me to love you,
my neighbors, and myself. my heart aches that you
died for me. i am grateful for the freedom to love.

2015.01.20: taste and see the goodness

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. — Mk 2:23

here i am, little lamb
don’t be so bewildered
you haven’t lost me
you don’t have to chase me all over
just look inside your heart
i am always with you

yes they have all gone
my disciples and the Pharisees
you can see the paths they left behind
come sit down with me
if only for a little while longer

taste and see the goodness of the grain
in this moment it is just a seed
some will be made into bread one day
others: another generation of fields

see hear smell taste touch feel
the goodness of this moment
it will feed you today
it can be the seed for others

here i am, little lamb
i am with you always
just look inside your heart

2015.01.19: busted wineskin

Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins. — Mk 2:22

drawn by your Holy Spirit
i sought you in the holiest temple
a place filled with reverence
week after week i worshipped piously
fasting and keeping all the precepts

aspiring for a place of honor
i asked for your grace
and you granted my prayer
pouring new wine into old wineskin
so it was that my heart broke
and my cloak was torn
i cried out in my nakedness
through my tears i finally saw
with clarity > the errors of my way

again i imposed upon your grace
begging as a sinner for mercy
and once again you showed
nothing is greater than your goodness
as you poured out your love
and the wine that was changed into blood
healed and transformed my heart
whereas wineskins bust and cannot be repaired
hearts mend stronger than before they broke

then you clothed me in my baptismal robe

2015.01.18: waiting at the shores

“Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Sam 3:10

here i am at the shores
that separate the land from the sea
where man’s wandering feet must stop
i wait to hear you call

the sun has risen and set
the gulls have tired of playing and left
the tides have come and gone
still i wait at the shores

you have called the prophet
you have called the fishermen
you have made them both priests
i wait to hear you call

waves after waves of words have washed
over the beaches of my mind
yet you left no words written in the sand
still i wait at the shores

could it be that’s all there is
just you and me sitting in darkness
nothing to separate nothing to say
waiting for my ship to come