They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.

Revelation 7:16
  • 6/16 – Luke 6:21
  • 6/17 – Matthew 5:6
  • 6/18 – Psalm 42:1-2
  • 6/19 – Psalm 63:1
  • 6/20 – Isaiah 58:10
  • 6/21 – Luke 1:53 
  • 6/22 – John 6:35

Pray the week: Holy Trinity, I hunger for unity with You, to be subsumed into You. Fill my hunger and assist me in helping others hunger for You.

He’s
hungry!

since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

I read a very interesting article recently. It concerned the hungry Jesus. Sounds like the name of a great cooking show!

Jesus spent much time at meals. He did this in three ways.

At most meals, Jesus was the guest. He was invited by many. As an iterant Rabbi He relied on the hospitality and generosity of others. These meals were encounters with the hurt, broken, and lost. They were an opportunity to learn important truths. They were an opportunity wherein Jesus offered healing through His call to faith and conversion – change of life, rejection of sin.

The article points out that Jesus was rarely the host, and when He did host actual meals in time, excepting the feeding of the multitudes, He only fed those who were closest to Him.

The third type of meal Jesus offered was visions of the eschatological meal. This was the meal in the kingdom after the end of time, His return. Again, we return to a limited meal – open only to the prepared, the faithful, the wise who could enter the banquet.

In these three types of meals we see representations of Jesus’ hunger. 

Jesus’ hunger starts with His call to conversion, to invite all into the kingdom meal. He is hungry for each person’s participation in the kingdom life. But there are requirements to get in! Jesus had to teach those – and so He showed us the way. He told us that all are welcome to commit, to change, to become participants.

If we do as He asks, if we truly live as He models, we get to take part in the meal offered here this very Sunday – the Eucharistic banquet. Eucharist means thanksgiving and we should be very thankful for inclusion in this meal with Jesus. We also have the promise of the kingdom meal, full participation in heaven life.

Certainly, scripture shows us that Jesus was most hungry for unity of life with the Father and Spirit and our participation in that reality, that meal where love is perfected. We have gained access. Hungry? 

This week’s memory verse: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

John 14:26
  • 6/9 – Psalm 16:11
  • 6/10 – Exodus 33:14
  • 6/11 – Acts 3:20-21
  • 6/12 – Jeremiah 29:13
  • 6/13 – Hebrews 4:16
  • 6/14 – Zephaniah 3:17
  • 6/15 – Matthew 28:19-20

Pray the week: Holy Spirit, Your presence envelops me. All I am, all I do, is committed to Your use. Strengthen me by Your gifts.

He’s
everywhere!

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

Happy Birthday Church!!!

Pentecost marks the birth of the Church. The Holy Spirit is central to every act of creation. Genesis tells us at creation the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. He was there as all that was created for us came into being. How much more would He be there as we were returned to the fullness of creation. His work in us was and is focused on bringing the word to the world, on proclaiming and spreading the Good News of repentance for salvation in Jesus so all might be re-created, might be re-born, might be regenerated.

St. Paul says: But how can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard his message? How can they hear if no one tells the Good News? Exactly! So, the Spirit was there to call us, to motivate us, to infuse us with the gifts necessary to spread the word.

In Jerusalem, tongues of fire were created into tongues of proclamation. It is not lost on us that these tongues were world-wide tongues. Every nation heard. Jews, Arabs, Romans heard. The Holy Spirit is with us everywhere. In every corner, to every place needing re-creation, He accompanies us and gives us all necessary to get the job done.

St. Paul expounds on the gifts: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts. There are different forms of service. There are different workings. The Spirit produces all of them in everyone (who is in the Spirit) for some benefit.

Notice, there is no delay. There is no questioning. There is no debate. The Spirit floods and fills us. He empowers us to get the job done. Feeling lazy? Feeling unable? Feeling afraid of this God stuff? Call on the Holy Spirit and the job will be done (by you and me) before we even realize it. That’s how we know. That’s how we are sure of the Spirit’s presence, the reality of God and heaven. It is when we are amazed that it got done. Then we know He is everywhere in our proclamation of salvation.

Jesus’ disciples gathered around him, and he taught them: I tell you not to worry…

Matthew 6:25

I believe we often wonder whether Jesus is really speaking to us. Are those particular words meant for me? The answer is always yes, and reflecting on our passage for this month, we can certainly see how it applies to us. Jesus’ friends and followers got together, and He COMMANDED them: Chill out! Indeed, Matthew 6:25, taken from the Sermon on the Mount, is a direct command from Jesus to His followers. His language was not a suggestion or a recommendation, or an option. If you are following me, you need to relax, chill out, throw out all fear and anxiety. If we experience God, church, family, and everyday life from a perspective of fear and anxiety we are missing the blessings of a true relationship with Jesus and each other. Instead of living in Jesus – life to the fullest – we are just functioning and killing ourselves. Fear, worry and anxiety are a wall, a thick, high, deep, and strong wall that blocks the way between me and Jesus. We look at those walls, and our instinct is not to break through the wall, after all. who am I? Rather, we start immediately to make the wall bigger, stronger, higher, and deeper. We forget the dynamite we really have. The power we have is faith as small as a mustard seed. Go to the local supermarket or spice store. Find a jar of mustard seed, and look how small those seeds are. Buy that jar, and then go find a big ‘ol wall – a brick or stone one, and take one of those seeds. just one, and throw it at the wall. In our minds and hearts, see that wall explode and fall. That’s the power we have in Jesus. That is the order He has given us. With the simplest of faith, the least amount of faith, the wall of fear, worry and anxiety is destroyed. When we come to church, let us use the opportunity to stand up and follow Jesus’ order. He’s speaking to us. Destroy the wall. Relax the shoulders, throw out the obligation, and step over the broken parts of that wall. See Jesus for real, no fear.

Join us in June for the fullness of the Holy Spirit experience. Confirmation and Installation, Father’s Day BBQ, all done in a chill out manner with faith in Jesus who overcomes all. Plus check out all the great upcoming national and local events now and throughout the summer.

Read more in our June 2019 Newsletter.

This week’s memory verse:  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5
  • 6/2 – Matthew 5:16
  • 6/3 – John 8:12
  • 6/4 – Psalm 119:105
  • 6/5 – Ephesians 5:8
  • 6/6 – Psalm 27:1
  • 6/7 – 2 Corinthians 4:6
  • 6/8 – Revelation 21:23

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, fill me with You light and embolden me to share that light everywhere I go.

Be a
light.

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “Holy Father, I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.

Growing up, I had a lot of friends who were mechanically inclined. They could craft and fix things. They could make engines run better – and louder – which we all loved.

I, for my part, did not get any of those skills. My friends, being generous, asked me try a couple of times, but they soon realized I was better at dropping and breaking than fixing.

That said, they did give me a job. I got to hold the shop lamp or the flashlight.

To a young person who wanted to be cool, it was a bit of a letdown, but it did teach me several important lessons.

The foremost lesson was the importance of properly focused light. No job can get done, and mistakes happen, without light.

Think of the things we heard in the readings and gospel today. Stephen, the deacon, is being murdered by those who rejected Jesus. In the face of persecution and sure death he held out his light. He firmly declared the Divinity of Jesus, reaffirmed his faith in Jesus, and forgave those who stoned him. Certainly, this is a light for Christians to this very day. Like Stephen, we must commit to being light even in the greatest darkness.

John, exiled to Patmos, hears the testimony of Jesus Who is returning. He brings recompense according to our deeds, i.e., the amount of light we shine. We must wash our robes in His blood, be buried with Him, suffer with Him so that we may enter the city through its gates. That means we must commit to being steady lights in all situations.

Jesus prays for His disciples – and for those who would come to believe through their being His light in the world. They were to teach, preach, evangelize, baptize, and bring people to the Table of the Lord – not for numbers, or attendees, or any other reason than to know the light of true and everlasting love – love defined by God. So we are to go out as light.

Whether we are handy or not, we are called to hold up that light for nothing will happen without our being His light.

This week’s memory verse:  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

John 15:4
  • 5/26 – 2 Corinthians 5:8
  • 5/27 – 1 John 2:6
  • 5/28 – James 4:8
  • 5/29 – 1 John 2:27
  • 5/30 – Matthew 6:24
  • 5/31 – 2 Timothy 2:12
  • 6/1 – Psalm 121:2

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, I invite You in. Come and abide with me. Remain with me. Teach, instruct, advise, and care for me. I pledge to do Your will.

Our
Visitor.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”

I remember many cars pulling up to the curb in front of the house where I grew up. 

After my dad died, my aunt and grandmother, Busia, moved in to help my mom out. They came out of family love, to help this relatively young widow raise two children. Because we were not your typical nuclear family, but rather a multigenerational family, an extended family, we had many visitors.

Most of the visitors came to pay their respects to my grandmother. She had ten children, seven of which survived into adulthood. So they, and their families, came to see Busia. My uncles, who lived out-of-state, would make days long road trips with their large families who we expectantly waited for at our front window. Large families with lots of kids camped out on our Livingroom floor. The weekly visits from nearby family. All because of love. Sure, it brought work, but mostly great joy and closeness. We wouldn’t have wanted it any differently.

If we love God, if we are following His Son, if we are keeping His word then God is always expected. He comes to remain with us. His car has pulled up. God is not going to just pop-in. His staying is going to take work on our part, but would we want it any other way.

There is a mutuality to Jesus’ instruction. Our action – to love Him and keep His word. His action – to dwell, i.e., to stay. He abides, remains and continues with us. An even deeper meaning of dwell is that He and we will remain in a given state of existence.

And, Jesus doesn’t come alone, but with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit comes to instruct, remind, and prompt us, and to bring us peace in unexpected ways.

If God has pulled up to our curb, if He’s come to dwell with us – He is there because we chose to love Him, listen to Him, and follow Him. He’s come out of love to see to our need. He’s come to lift us. He’s brought the Holy Spirit along as a great and precious gift so that this state of existence endures.

God is our Visitor. He comes to dwell. Would we want it any other way? Invite Him in.

This week’s memory verse: The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way — Psalm 37:23

  • 5/19 – Deuteronomy 31:8
  • 5/20 – Hebrews 13:14
  • 5/21 – Philippians 4:7
  • 5/22 – Acts 1:8
  • 5/23 – Colossians 2:1-3
  • 5/24 – Psalm 121:3
  • 5/25 – Ephesians 2:10

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, You have laid out a travelogue, a path for me to disciple on. Strengthen my heart and steps to do this work.