This week we continue in retreat with Jesus and his disciples. He continues to take us beyond the reach of the Mosaic Law and its traditions, into the realm of fulfillment—how we respond to those who are injust, those who are our enemy.
Jesus tells us who we are: children of your Father in heaven. Who we are, the family we belong to, shapes what we do, how we love, how we respond to fried and foe. With God as our Abba, Father, we are empowered to live and act as God’s children—in God’s way.
Our way of loving, of seeing, is transformed.
This transformation is not some automatic switch which, when turned on, changes us overnight. This is a journey of listening deeply to what Jesus is saying here, of being willing to recognize where we need to change, and of living that change out in our everyday actions and relationships. This is a journey of detachment from things, money, attitudes of status and power. The voices which have shaped our relationship to things and money, status and power, now come into question, because now Jesus is the voice we listen to and follow.
This listening and following calls for a turning of our heart and asking God to give us understanding and guidance (Psalm 119:36,34,35). Now the former habits of the heart are called into the light of this epiphany of Jesus’ teaching; they are to be laid aside, so that the new habits can begin to grow—inwardly and outwardly. If we wonder how this can happen, we find additional help in Paul’s letter to the believers in Corinth. As God’s children we are the temple of God; God’s Spirit dwells in us (I Corinthians 3:16). It is this indwelling Spirit of God who sheds this light within us, helps us when we are most needy, guides us when we feel lost, and pours out God’s love within us.
We are never alone in this kingdom venture!
Prayer before reading:
Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us.
Help me to see as you see,
To recognize your presence,
And your call
To follow you.
Guides me, us as I learn to walk in your way.
Read slowly. Listen deeply. Indwell the scripture.
Season of Epiphany: Week Seven
- 2/14 Monday: Matthew 5:38-42
- 2/15 Tuesday: Matthew 5:43-48
- 2/16 Wednesday: Psalm 119:33-40
- 2/17 Thursday: Leviticus 19:1,2,9-18
- 2/18 Friday: I Corinthians 3:10-11,26-23
- 2/19 Saturday: Matthew 5:38-42
- 2/20 Sunday: Matthew 5:43-48