Too often we do our best to hide our weaknesses and failures from each other by struggling to keep up a respectable front. Afraid of revealing our inner unhappiness, we build walls around ourselves to block out others. Why do we pass each other by, wrapped up in our own thoughts and fears? Perhaps it is because we are afraid to be seen for who we are. But as Jesus’ compassion toward those around him illustrates, life’s deepest fulfillment comes from valuing every human encounter, and showing love to everyone we meet, especially if they are lonely, despairing, or beaten down. ~J. Heinrich Arnold, Escape Routes
Blessed are those who have realized their own utter helplessness, and who have put their whole trust in God. If people have realized their own utter helplessness, and have put their whole trust in God, there will enter into their lives two things.…They will become completely detached from material things, for they will know that things do not have the power to bring happiness or security; and they will become completely attached to God, for they will know that God alone can bring them help, hope, and strength. Those who are poor in spirit are men and women who have realized that things mean nothing, and that God means everything. ~William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew Volume I (The New Daily Study Bible)
CHRIST IS KING OF THE UNIVERSE
regardless of who wins the presidential election in America. Just sayin’.
Christ Cleansing the Temple, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1875
As long as we look for some kind of pay for what we do, as long as we want to get something from God in some kind of exchange, we are like the merchants. If you want to be rid of the commercial spirit, then by all means do all you can in the way of good works, but do so solely for the praise of God. Live as if you did not exist. Expect and ask nothing in return. Then the merchant inside you will be driven out of the temple God has made. Then God alone dwells there. See! This is how the temple is cleared: when a person thinks only of God and honors him alone. Only such a person is free and genuine. ~Meister Eckhart
As he submits to John’s baptism of repentance, Jesus shows the radical way he will confront the sin that enslaves humanity. Jesus’ “baptism,” begun in the Jordan and completed on Golgotha, is repentance, self-denial, metanoia to the fullest.…To be baptized “into Christ” and “in the name of Christ” means to be incorporated into the way of life which characterized his life, the life of the empty one, the servant, the humble one, the obedient one, obedient even unto death (Phil. 2:6–11). ~William Willimon
O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son,
having conquered death,
should pass over into the realm of heaven,
grant, we pray, to your departed servants
that, with the mortality of this life overcome,
they may gaze eternally on you,
their Creator and Redeemer.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.