It’s Up To Us

Be compassionate as God is compassionate.
Luke 6:36

I admit that I’m repeating myself here, but I can’t help it. A recent phone call ignited my angst regarding the injustices of this life. A few minutes spent perusing the newspaper and then listening to a newscast added to my unrest. I admit to lots of anger over the suffering of those I’ve been given to love. Whether they are my own family, starving children half a world away or the sick across town, I find it difficult to accept that there actually is nothing I can do to help.

My frustration almost always gets the best of me. After moaning to myself, I look upward and groan, “If only you would reveal yourself to those in power, they might actually take it upon themselves to fix this mess!” I tell God that I do realize that repairing this world of ours is a multi-leveled task. Still, I add that a change of heart among the higher-ups (as well as the rest of us) would certainly help.

In God’s infinite wisdom, God allows me to stew until I return to my senses. It is then that I acknowledge that God leaves it to us to do the best we can in all of this. God’s assistance comes in the example of Jesus, in the good people around us who urge us on and in God’s presence among us and within each one of us. In the end, God leaves it up to us to bring about change, one moment at a time, one problem at a time, one opportunity at a time…

Patient God, forgive my impatience with others, with myself and with you. Help me and all of us to do what we can whenever we can to make this world a better place.

©2020 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Peace Be With Us All

“The works that God gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify that God has sent me.”

John 5:36

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I wrote about the peace with which I begin each day? Though I’m grateful that God’s peace stays with me much of the time, this is sometimes not the case. Today, I’m more than impatient with a few of my fellow humans. Though I believe God loves us just as we are, I’m having a little trouble following God’s good example. I just watched a news report which I wish I’d missed. Those featured seem to have forgotten that we’re all God’s people. I shouldn’t have allowed these few to distract me from the remarkable good that is being accomplished by so many these days. Yet, I did!

Determined to change my attitude, I ran upstairs to take another peek out of the window which inspires my morning talks with God. Before I said a word, childhood memories regarding some of Jesus’ contemporaries filled me up. Before I could ask the point of all of this, the eleven-year-old I used to be came to mind. She was extremely impatient with the Pharisees who had no use for Jesus. This younger me was convinced that Jesus’ words and works had come from a loving God and she wondered why it was so difficult for the Pharisees to see this.

As I consider my current frustration, I acknowledge that times haven’t changed much. I’d revived my eleven-year-old frustration. I’d also lost the peace that resides not only beyond that window, but also deep within me. With that, I’m renewing my resolve to find that peace once again. I’ll pray for those who’d frustrated me so. I’ll also do what I can to bring peace to my little corner of this world.

Good and Patient God, help me to do just that!

©2020 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Repair What We Can Whenever We Can

Be compassionate as God is compassionate.
Luke 6:36

I admit that I’m repeating myself a bit here, but I can’t help it. A recent phone call ignited my angst regarding the injustices of this life. A few minutes spent perusing the newspaper added to my unrest. I admit to my anger over the suffering of those I’ve been given to love. Whether they are my own family members or starving children half a world away, I find it difficult to accept that there actually is nothing I can do to help. I find myself looking upward and groaning, “If only you would reveal yourself to those in power, they might actually take it upon themselves to fix this mess!” I do realize that repairing this world of ours is a multi-leveled task. Still, a change of heart among the higher-ups as well as the rest of us will certainly help.

In God’s infinite wisdom, God leaves it to us to do the best we can as we see it. God’s assistance comes in the example of Jesus, in the good people around us who urge us on and in God’s presence among us. In the end, it is up to us to bring about change, one moment at a time, one problem at a time, one opportunity at a time…

Patient God, forgive my impatience with others, with myself and with you. Help me and all of us to do what we can whenever we can to make this world a better place.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Be Lovingly Persistent

“The works that God gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that God has sent me.”

John 5:36

Sometimes, I’m impatient with our humanity. I become frustrated with others, especially at church, when they forget that we’re actually God’s family. I become frustrated with myself when I allow their antics to distract me from the work at hand. So it is that I must return to my childhood musing regarding the behaviors of Jesus’ contemporaries. If it was obvious to me at age eleven that Jesus’ lessons, parables and works had to have come from a loving God, I wondered why it was so difficult for the Pharisees to accept this. They knew that Israel awaited the Messiah. Foreign astrologers had recognized the sign in the night and traveled a long distance to find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. It seemed to me that the Pharisees and many others should have known better than to reject Jesus.

As I consider my current frustration, I acknowledge that times haven’t changed much. We see all that Jesus accomplished from his humble state. We see that Jesus needed no worldly authority to serve us. We see that Jesus sought the company of outcasts and that he set aside his own concerns whenever he was needed. Still, we do as I have done and become angry when others who don’t conform to our hopes and desires.

Jesus persisted in spite of and because of the humanity of those he’d come to this earth to love. Times haven’t changed much and it’s up to me to persist as Jesus did with patient love.

Good and Patient God, help me to do just that!

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

June 7

“When he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”

From today’s gospel, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

If you have a best friend, you can retrieve immediately the most important experiences you have shared over the years. You may have a special gift from this person or a photo of the two of you that you treasure. We cherish our best friends. They know what is on our minds before we do. They can finish our sentences. They help us through the most difficult times of our lives, and they share our greatest joys. The impact that a best friend has upon any of us is beyond words. That being said, I am going to use my words, feeble as they are, to share with you one of the greatest things my Best Friend has done for me.

I have often told those who are close to me that I truly appreciate the way Jesus of Nazareth asked us to live. I like Jesus’ acceptance of each of us for who we are and I like his command that we love one another. Jesus values humility and service, and I like that, too. Most of all, I appreciate knowing that there is nothing I can do that is unforgiveable in God’s eyes. The Parable of the Prodigal Son is among Jesus’ greatest gifts to me because it promises that God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is a priceless gift, a constant offering to you and me. Though any one of us can spend an entire lifetime rejecting God’s love, God’s embrace awaits you and me just the same.

Loving God, did you know that these would be the words powerful enough to encourage all of humanity for a billion lifetimes? Did you know that these would be the words which I so desperately need to hear again and again and again? Help me to reveal your love and forgiveness as Jesus did in everything I say and do.

©2013 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved