Poetry

My Words

My Words…

I want my words to color the walls of revolutionaries
like a timeless masterpiece
whose brushstrokes never fade
and movement strikes a chord in every man, woman and child,
so that when the evening shadow falls and I am called home,
I will know my weary self gave everything worthy of me to call all men to action.
I will not be satisfied with a song to the wind,
released from the belly of my soul
passed in a melodic rumor, note to note ever so slightly variant and carried away,
taken from mouth to ear then disappear with the dawn of a new day.

I want my words to stay and be the influence of change.
The beginning of a new day.
The enlightenment for tomorrow,
like the works of Michelangelo, Dali, or Freda Kahlo
I want my words to move you past their facade
and into the texture of their threads.
I want you to feel the power of my verse
as if you have just touched the Mona Lisa with your cheek
and seduced Madame X with the call of your eyes.

I want to be free of disguise, naked, wrapped only in the soft strokes, sometimes brisk strokes of my words and fearless I want to leave an impression, with the intention to leave a legacy, that goes for beyond you, goes far beyond me, but becomes that tapestry on the walls of revolutionaries, a Masterpiece of change
a topic for tomorrow.

Allison Burns-LaGreca

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Archive, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Trusting God to Provide

Trusting God to provide sounds almost cliche, but it’s just about where I am as I reflect on our Gospel for this weekend. As I was writing, my wife called in a panic and upset. Her car died in the fast lane somewhere in Connecticut, about two and a half hours from home. In unfamiliar surroundings, she didn’t know what to do. I gently calmed her down, made sure she was in a safe place, and instructed her to call 911. Thank heaven for technology, and thank you Jesus, she was unharmed. The car was towed, and she called from the shop, “I got bad news and more bad news.” “OK” I said. “The timing belt went and ceased the engine, it will cost $2300.00 at least to repair,” she said, “or I can sign the title over to the shop.” The car is more than 11 years old. “Go ahead and sign the title over. We’ll figure it out.” I said. “God will provide.”

How this all ties in:

I find it hard to extract this week’s Lectionary Gospel reading Luke 21:5-19 from the rest of the chapter without being led astray into an apocolyptic wonderland. It’s easy to insert ourselves and think of all the doom and gloom destruction happening in our world around. Famine, earthquakes, floods, war; we have become all too accustomed to seeing violence and death. The images from our news of rubbled buildings and crushed stone from missile and rocket launches easily come to mind as we read the warning from Jesus in our Gospel. Even today, as I write from the comfort of my own home, nations, and people are being bombed, and another senseless school shooting grasps our attention.

Do not be dismayed. Do not be led astray. There is more than this impending destruction. There is more, much more to the story. There is more to this chapter, and what Christ has to offer, what Christ is promising. It is ever so important to understand this passage in its proper context to the whole of the chapter and not isolated from the entirety of the story. It is more than a warning of impending doom. It is wisdom and promise.

The Wisdom:

At the end of Chapter 20, Jesus warns against the scribes, the teachers who are well dressed, and speak lofty prayers but devour the widow, the poor and those who are most in need. It’s a warning against being led astray by those who live false lives.

In the beginning of Chapter 21, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and the story continues with Jesus in a part of the temple known as the court of women. This is where the treasury boxes for donation sat out for worshippers to donate. Seven in total, one was dedicated for temple tax and the others were freewill offerings. These freewill offerings were used to expand and adorn the temple over a 46 year period under Herod the Great.

He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”

Jesus shares with the diciples the story of the poor widow and explains that this woman, giving her two coins gave more than any other. He exclaims that the wealthy gave out of excess, but she havng no excess willingly gave all that she had and was. She did not live on money and riches; she lived with strength and faith trusting that God will provide, putting God first above all things.

The disciples see the external adornment of the temple, its grandiosity takes them and they fail to see the spiritual bankruptcy. I heard a priest from a wealthy congregation once say, “People think my congregation is just fine because they are sitting in six million dollar homes, but they fail to realize that they are sitting alone with their stuff. They are sitting worried over their heroin addicted child. They are coping with their terminal diagnosis, or the loss of their spouse.” He wanted to state a point. He wanted to let us know, his people were hurting too, they weren’t their adornment.

Jesus makes the disciples aware of their failure to see past the facade, to see the hypocricy, and the oppression of the institution. He prepares them for rejection, and the impending death of the Son of God, which will happen at the hands of the well-adorned religious authority. Jesus brings them awareness, then prepares the disciples for the difficult times ahead. He warns them again against false prophets, political chaos, natural disasters, and persecutions. He then gives the disciples assurance, that they will not be alone, that the Holy Spirit will be with them, comfort them and give them the words they need when the time comes. God will provide.

The Promise:

19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.

I don’t ascribe to the saying, “You will be tested.” I don’t believe God “tests” us. I do believe however, that life our lives on earth will experience with human heartache and pain. That there are disasters and wounds beyond our control and that God calls us to remain steadfast in faith with trust and prayer. The poor widow stood in the temple. She had the gift of strength, the gift of resiliency and endurance, and gave it back to God, trusting and believing, putting God first.

Thoughts for this week: Where are we? How far have we come? What are the gifts God has given us? Do we use these gifts to put God first. Perhaps you are in a time of life that is in the midst of destruction, that is tearing down the old and all that you knew. Have faith and know that a resurrected life in Christ is coming. It’s hard in the middle of pain, in the middle of illness, in the middle of trauma, in the middle of whatever it is that distracts us from God to recognize the promised life to come. Hold still, endure, keep faith. Give what has been given to you and know, God will provide!

And if you happen to be in a place of grace, whole and uplifted, having come through adversity or pain, give thanks and reach for another.

Blessings and Love,

Mo. Allison+

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Love Inscribed

Job 19:23-27a

Job said,
"O that my words were written down!
O that they were inscribed in a book!
O that with an iron pen and with lead
they were engraved on a rock forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;
and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another."

Last fall I offered a meditative session to our youth gathering called “Give and Take.” The object was to engage our senses through tactile learning. We collectively wrote our Thanksgivings on a pumpkin that sat on the center of a table. Then we picked up a rock that was inscribed with something we wished to take with us, whether it was something we needed to hold and pray for ourselves, or to pass on to another. The tactile engagement with our thoughts and prayers made them real and relavent. They became tangible and alive. Last night I met a friend who attended that gathering and she said, ” I still carry that rock with me, you know.” I didn’t know, and my heart smiled.

Inscribed in each and every one of us, like the hope inscribed on those Thanksgiving stones, is the love of our living God never wavering, solid and true. Here for us now, for all whom we touch, and for generations to come. Like Job, however, in our human angst and uncertain world, knowledge of God’s love and presence alone sometimes fails to provide us the needed comfort we long for. It is heart-wrenching to watch someone you love suffer, or to bear witness to injustice, trauma, illness or grief. These are the times we reach for a mediator, a friend, a loved one to ease our cries; searching for that hug, touch, or simple nod of understanding. Like the inscribed stone, they draw us closer to our living God, awakening in us the sense of God’s presence. Yes, I know there are those who suffer in darkness, alone yearning for a like soul. They too may be touched by the inscripted surrender to God.

Job’s inscription placed for generations to plead his case before God and to make known his strong faith even in the midst of his own confusion and pain gives us an awareness of the smallness of our own humanity. How often do we wrestle for the reasoning of God? How often do we beg for God’s intervention in an unjust world and wonder why so much sufferring is abound? Starvation and homelessness, war, violence, abuse, neglect, greed, power and destruction leave us with heavy hearts and open wounds, begging, yearning for God’s intervention. Is God lying dormant, silent and still or have we simply become so overwhelmed by the darkness and uncertainty of the world that we fail to see the living God among us? Like Job our pain in a sufferring world is valid and true, but also like Job we must hold steadfast in Faith, trusting that our Redeemer lives and opening our hearts to receiving God’s blessing.

Upon my return from a short trip to Aruba last month I found myself depressed. I am not where I expected to be when I first planned the trip. I await a call and bills are mounting. I find myself occasionally wondering if what God has planned for me I’ve all ready completed. I’m cranky and weep with a trusted few. I pray, I paint, I make art and keep busy in the house. My happiest days are Sundays. presiding over the Eucharist, breaking bread and being in communion and fellowship with all who seek Christ. I am energized and alive at least on Sunday. I have to admit, I have occasionally overlooked the presence of Christ Monday through Saturday, wallowing in my own sadness as a way of control. Yes, I can acknowledge those moments when Christ was present or arrived through the encouraging words of my sister, the love and support of my wife and son, the guidance of my mentor and friend, the gripe sessions with another wrestler of God, or even the cashier at the Home Depot who was so nervous about my collar she felt the need to reveal her son was in the musical, “Nunsense”. It was a good chuckle.

Just because we don’t acknowledge or ignore God from time to time, doesn’t mean God is ignoring us. God is very much here among us. God’s loving inscription is within us. This I know, and yes even trust. It’s control and expectation that leaves us unsettled; our plans, our vision verse the vision and plans God has for us. Truth be told, I know when I surrender, God’s plans are far better than my own. I know when I surrender, I recognize Christ among us. I recognize the beauty of Christ’s existance in the helpers as Mr. Rogers would say, and in the lovers, the friends, and in creatures great and small, even in the spirit of the wind. So, like the old twelve step saying goes, “Let Go and Let God.”

May we, like Job, inscribe upon the stones our unending faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in his love for us even as we wrestle with him. May we come to know God’s loving inscription upon our hearts growing in the way and likeness of Christ.

Blessings, 
Mo. Allison+

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Saints and Mosaics, the shaping of our Lives

One of the magical pieces to visiting the Holy Land are the remnants of many lasting mosaics left by those who came before us. Floors of synagogues, homes, public spaces and temples that withstood the test of time, speak stories. Speak stories of those who cultivated the tile, those who colored and designed it, those who carefully cut and laid it, those who commissioned it, those who walked upon it, kneeled and prayed on it, shared in liabations, created families and built relationships. Deep, in the grit, they tell the stories of the footsteps of war, and peace, and education, knowledge, hope, faith and history. They echo ancient voices in song of wonder and lament, absorb tears from heaven and invite us to touch our ancestors today. Though weathered, through the dust of ages they remain. They take to the shape of the ever shifting ground on which they were laid. Uneven swells and decline, like the softness of clay, pressed upon by the potter’s hand, perfectly imperfect. We are witness to their display, and formed by their existence.

Our lives, like that of the mosaic, are similiarly formed. Bit by bit, piece by piece, reflecting both darkness and light. We are formed by the people we encounter, ever changing , ever growing, ever shifting, even if so slightly amending to the swell and decline of life’s waves, rippling ups and downs over the course of time.

There are those who have touched our lives with soft and gentle hands, with the sweetness of oil whose memories remain dear and wholesome, leaving that piece, that section, that time of our life with buffed and soft edges adding to the brightness of our mortal soul and the gladness in our hearts. These are our teachers, mentors, loved ones and friends, sometimes even strangers who left their tender mark with kind words, an assist, a smile, a nod or lent a hand when we were in most need. Oh, how we remember these our Saints.

There are also those long dark pieces, the ones with the sharp and ridgid edges. The ones that have been shattered, put back together and repositioned. The ones that were left and marked by the people who disappointed us, let us down, betrayed or hurt us deeply. These special pieces mended and re-afixed, they too are the beautiful pieces that create and form us into becoming who we are as one body in Christ. Though sometimes we wish to forget, these too, we are compelled to remember.

This weekend, we celebrate the Saints, we celebrate all who have come before us and have left an indelible mark on our lives and the life of our Christian Body. We recognize and give thanks for the struggle, the strife and the ultimate victory of each who followed in the footsteps of Christ, creating the mosaic of our lives. Perfectly, imperfect.

As we remember, may we also hear the charge. Christ calls us to strive and to live as the Saints, picking up our cross, marching to Calvery and proclaiming Christ’s victory over death. Here we have a responsibility to each other and to the body of Christ; to Love one another, to Love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us, to pray for those who abuse us, to offer forgiveness and mercy and to selflessly give to everyone, no barrier, no exception, everyone! Diligently working in good faith, may we act toward each other as we would have others act toward us, for we are the crafters of the mosaics in each others lives. Be the person who buffs, shines and smoothes the edges of another. Leave no ridgidness in scar. Heal and mend the broken pieces.

Dying for our sins, Christ has given us new life, eternal life in him. Give thanks for the gift of witness, the gift of all who have come before us and for those who continue to touch our lives and buff our edges and color our soul with the brightness of Christ, the Love of God. Soon we too will be called and welcomed home; until then may we continue to form, grow and add lovingly to the mosaic of our lives.

Blessings, 
Mo. Allison+
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Rejoice and Pray!

Lectionary for the third Sunday of Easter, May 5, 2019
John 21:1-19

Rejoice!

Once a month I meet with a Spiritual director in a Retreat House in New Jersey. I have been meeting regularly with Sister since 2015. Today as I was walking down the stairs from her office, I noticed a picture hanging in the stairway. It was a pretty rose-coloured, tiled word that said, REJOICE.

“That’s really pretty,” I said, “Is that new or have I just missed it?” Sister chuckled and said, “It’s been hanging there for three years.” REJOICE!        

            Sure, sometimes life gets really busy, and sometimes we are so focused on a means to an end or the task at hand that we miss the details, the messages, the very essence of the Holy Spirit that surround us. For three years I walked by a picture hanging on the wall focused on what I needed to accomplish, what I believed I needed to be present to. Seminary and papers, family, commuting, life’s obstacles and hurdles, challenges and transitions, indeed this was an exercise of human will caught in the cycle of busy.

Yes, busyness has its place in the birthing of beautiful creative expression, ideas, growth and expansion, but before this great birthing of abundance can occur; there is the breath, the breath that embodies the spirit of all life, all good things, the word. When we fail to listen to that breath, we take on our own will. We become distracted by our own fears, desires and tasks at hand. We get overwhelmed in a cycle of survival and we keep ourselves busy, numbing our way through the emotional fatigue of keeping up. Simply put, we miss God’s beautiful details. Like the lines in a face that tell a life’s story, or journeyed callouses of the hands that come beautifully outstretched with the desire to receive Christ. The details matter, for in the details there is the presence of God, but no less, we are human and living in the 21st century with all techno thing-ma-gigs that were supposed to ease our lives, but somehow only made them more busy, distracting from God, from God’s breath, from the very spirit of our Holy Trinity and our relationship within.

This is the third appearance that our Lord, Christ makes after the resurrection, and it is the third time that the disciples do not at first recognize him. Mary Magdalene mistook him for a gardener (John 20:11-18), then he appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus as a fellow traveler (Luke 24:13-21), and now here he is, a stranger on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-13). In each of these cases, the disciples who saw the resurrected Jesus did not recognize him by his physical features, but by what he said and did. First came breath. “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”  After the catch, Peter knew instantly it was Jesus and hurried back to shore as the others followed with the abundance of nourishing fish.

In this case, the disciples tried of their own will to cast out nets and make a catch but came up empty. The following day, though unsure, they listened to the word, the breath of God and were rewarded with great abundance.

Imagine if we were better listeners. How often are we so caught up in our own busyness that we fail to listen for the word, the spirit, the breath of our creator and redeemer, Christ? How often do our own minds chatter away with tasks, lists, ideas, and desires? I understand this in terms of survival, and football, and parenting, schoolwork and playgroups, deadlines and hockey games. I’ve raised two boys and kept real busy. It’s easy to miss the voice and direction of our God. Prayer is necessary for us to be obedient to God’s will.

The disciples did not recognize Jesus, but they knew it was him. They knew it was he because they had a relationship with Jesus. They loved him. We too are invited into relationship with Christ. The breath, the word, the will of our God awaits us, longs for us to lift up our hearts and give thanks and praise, to seek God in all things. When we release ourselves of distraction, bring our mind, body, and spirit into the presence of prayer, with no alternative motive, just LOVE, then we build and strengthen our relationship with Jesus. By reading scripture, having a rule of life and receiving the sacraments of our Holy Church we share in the celebration of grace bestowed upon us. Worshipping together we strengthen the fellowship of Love shared, uniting us as one body through the breaking of the bread and drinking from the cup.

As we come to the rail may we always remember the sacrifice Christ has made for us, knowing that we are tasked as Peter to Love onward without condition.

Feed, Tend, Feed and Rejoice!

Try not to let your heart be so distracted that you do not recognize the little things that lead you, guide you, direct you to the voice of God. Rejoice!

Prayer+

Lord Jesus Christ, help us to release ourselves and become the shepherds you seek for us to become among your creation; so your breath, your word, and your love, may be known to all people and that we in seeking to fulfil your will may rejoice in the resurrection through you, Christ our Lord. Amen

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Doubt or Longing – either way, have Faith

Everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

thomas030307_01Peace be with you!

When I was a teenager, I spent a couple of years in an all-girls Catholic High School. The sisters used to warn us to behave because the “wrongs” we did wouldn’t just send us to hell, but we would be branded for life with a mark on our permanent record.

There was nothing more threatening, more anxiety-laden than this phantom mark of our reputation. My friends and I still tease each other about the potential descriptions of our character. We can playfully imagine how the sisters may have branded us.

Thomas’s permanent record has been marred by this one event behind closed doors. One event that I believe is a mischaracterization of who Thomas is and who he was to Jesus.

Thomas didn’t want anything that everyone else didn’t all ready have. In fact, Thomas was devout and courageous. I believe there is nothing Thomas wouldn’t have done for Jesus. Including laying his life down for him.

Would you lay down your life down for Jesus today?

What would you do for your teacher?

In John 11, Jesus is called to the bedside of Lazarus in Bethany. This journey would have been gravely dangerous, as there were mobs who wanted to stone Jesus. The frightened disciples try to talk Jesus out of going to Lazarus, but Jesus assures them to have faith and then, it is Thomas who is outspoken and willing to lay down his life for his teacher, saying, “Let us also go so that we may die with Him.” Thomas may not have understood but he certainly was willing. He didn’t know if they would live or die, but he had faith in his teacher, so he was willing to go.

We ought to be celebrating his willingness, to walk in the dark, take courage and follow Jesus.

Dear people of Christ, the enemy of Faith is not doubt – the enemy of Faith is unbelief. Thomas may not have understood, he may have questioned whether they would live or die, but he kept walking, he kept walking forward, he kept walking toward, he kept following Jesus. That’s faith in the midst of doubt. That’s belief.

When I was a teenager, I went to bed on a Sunday evening and I had a dream of a woman with fiery red hair and quick Irish wit. She spoke in many places, rooms and retreats and people would follow her from near and far just to catch a glimpse and hear a word. What a dream!

When I rose the following morning, the sun was out and seemed like a fine day to skip school and walk with God awhile. The presence of my dream sat upon on my shoulder, with a whisper –  Follow me, Follow me.

I didn’t understand, and I didn’t know where I was going, but by the afternoon I found myself in the Basement of Calvary Episcopal Church. Prayerful and quiet, the voice from my dream spoke more loudly, and I raised my chin, opened my eyes and there she sat. Quick wit, fiery red hair, her name was Maureen.

A new day was dawning.

I Instantly became her shadow, her youngest and most devout disciple. Wherever Maureen went, wherever she spoke and taught, wherever and whenever she shared her experience strength and hope, I was there. I didn’t always get it, I didn’t always understand, but I had faith and I believed.

On Sunday mornings we would meet at St. Henry’s Roman Catholic Church and it was a really big church. Maureen sat in the 2nd row.

She said, “If you want to hear God, you sit up front.” Now I didn’t quite understand why I couldn’t hear God from anywhere else in the building, and I thought, gee I’d be way more comfortable blending in back there.

I didn’t really know if I would hear God better or not, but I had faith in my teacher. So on Sunday morning, I’d get up early, meet Maureen and sit in the 2nd row. And by golly, I think I heard God.

In John 14, Jesus is explaining the way to God. He says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may also be. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” And Thomas responds to Jesus, “ Lord we do not know where we are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus replies, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Thomas didn’t always understand Jesus, but he loved and believed in his teacher. He dared to be forthright and honest about his not knowing. And in his reasonable not knowing he STILL had the faith to follow.

Alfred Tennyson says, there lives more Faith in Honest doubt than in all the creeds.

I have a great deal of compassion for Thomas. I can feel, empathise with his grief and longing for his teacher.

You see, I had the blessed opportunity to spend a good three and a half years following and learning from Maureen. She was only in her 50’s when she died suddenly. Those of us who were her disciples, who followed her instantly found our lives together changed. We took comfort in each other only for a while, but the breath of God had been upon us, and we would pick up our Love, our lessons and experiences and begin to disperse separately in our ways.

I can remember those early days soon after, wrestling with the loss of her, grieving, searching for answers and longing for her presence, her voice, her laugh and wit. Longing for the long talks, the rides, the speaking engagements and the masses of people, the crowds that gathered to hear, speak and teach. I can remember asking her after such an engagement, “Do you feel like a celebrity?” She looked at me sternly and said, “There but for the Grace of God go I. “ I was young and foolish. I didn’t quite understand, but I kept hanging around Maureen. After her death, there was an ending, an ending for all of us, and life would be very different moving forward with a New Beginning, our life after Maureen.

The disciples sat grieving and in fear, in a locked room, having lost their teacher to a Violent and Traumatic death. Their teacher who brought them the gifts of Love and Grace, and Forgiveness and Mercy. Their teacher who provided them with a prophetic voice on what was going to be.

Now they were facing a new road ahead, this new Journey without their teacher, but with his spirit in mind.

I can imagine the depth of their longing. From this day forth nothing would ever be the same, not for any one of them.

But Again I say to you, Thomas, didn’t ask for anything, that everyone else didn’t all ready have.

When the women came back from the Tomb and told the disciples Jesus rose from the dead and was alive. Not one male disciple believed them. Not one, yet, the reputation of “doubter” is not attributed to any one of them. There is no doubting Peter, or Andrew, James or John, Phillip or Bartholomew, not any one of them despite them shrugging off the women. Then Jesus appears to them, breaths on them and they believe.

Who never doubted never half believed, where doubt their truth is – ‘is her shadow.

Philip James Bailey

But where’s Thomas?

He’s not there, and I don’t believe for a single second that he is out buying oranges. He and the disciples are wanted men, but Thomas was never the one to sit around hiding. This is the same disciple who was willing to lay his life down for Jesus.

Jesus appears to the women, and Thomas is Grieving… Where are you, Jesus?  Jesus showed himself to the disciples…. Thomas is searching… Where are you, Jesus?

Thomas longing, embedded with grief, and loss hallowed chaos that distracts from the “here and now” – that burning desire to understand.

Where are you, Jesus?

Can you feel Thomas? Can you hear him say…

My heart is broken, and I am longing for your presence, I reach out my hand to touch you, I keep walking forward, but I cannot feel you, I cannot hear you or smell your essence – I know I am walking toward you where are you?` Jesus, Jesus, and a week later Jesus appears to Thomas in front of the disciples.

“Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

That is how it is written as Jesus spoke to all the apostles.

When I read I read this scripture I get a very vivid picture in my mind, and it looks something like this:

Stunned by his appearance, wanting sure this was not an appreciable, we put our fingers in the wounds of Jesus and I saw all the wars in the nations, ice caps melting, people of color dying in the streets, lifeless fish floating in the sea, babies torn from their mothers, children dying in classrooms, hunger and famine throughout the world, refugees hiding in fear, trees falling in the forests, and all the creatures of this earth needlessly suffering, all mothers of the land weeping and money, power, greed and all the idyllic monsters that have stolen the attention of the masses. Saddened at the wounds of God, we took a breath….

And withdrew our fingers from the wounds of our Savior – What have we done?

We then lifted our eyes to meet Jesus, and this light appeared brighter than anything we have ever seen, the heavens opened up, and all the wounds of the earth were no more. A new day was born.

Alleluia Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed.

Life rarely ever goes as planned. Often, Life will take us in a completely different direction to the path we intended to travel, but no matter what happens HAVE FAITH – Have Faith that in the end, it will work out.

Faith is believing in your dream when no one else does. Faith is sitting in the storm of your life and still being able to close your eyes and feel the sun. Still being able to see and know the better days are coming, despite the chaos, and storms and injustice and hurt all around you, that’s Faith!

Sometimes only you can see it. Have Faith- No matter how long it will take to get there. You will get there. Faith is taking the First step even when you can’t see the whole journey. Trusting the rest of the path will reveal itself in time, trusting in Jesus, trusting in God!

Keep moving forward. That’s what Thomas did. Keep moving forward.

Faith dear family is not a road without trouble or despair; it is not a road without question, Faith is a belief held in the presence of doubt, rather than an idea that removes all doubt.

Take the first step and keep moving.

You must have Faith these struggles will pass. Believe the Risen Christ is here. Here Now.

We can learn from Thomas. We can learn that even though we don’t know where our journey may lead, it is enough that our Lord makes the journey with us.

And in those times when our faith needs the reinforcement of tangible reality, and we are questioning, in the dark night of our soul, through the depth of our sorrow and wonder, where are you, God? —- it is good to know that our Lord does not meet our doubts with chastisement, but with a manifestation of grace, Love and mercy.

And when the chaos of our grief disappears, we will see that whom we were looking for, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is right here with us.

Peace!