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Jesus, the favorite Child of God, is persecuted. He who is poor, gentle, mourning; he who hungers and thirsts for uprightness; is merciful, pure of heart and a peacemaker is not welcome in this world. The Blessed One of God is a threat to the established order and a source of constant irritation to those who consider themselves the rulers of this world. Without his accusing anyone he is considered an accuser, without his condemning anyone he makes people feel guilty and ashamed, without his judging anyone those who see him feel judged. In their eyes, he cannot be tolerated and needs to be destroyed, because letting him be seems like a confession of guilt.
When we want to become like Jesus, we cannot expect always to be liked and admired. We have to be prepared to be rejected.
“A to Z Meme” I was tagged by Jen
A. Available or Single? no
B- Best Friend. Michele
C- Cake or Pie. pie
D- Drink of Choice. coffee
E- Essential Item. my purse (it holds everything)
F- Favorite Color. black
G- Gummi Bears or Worms. bears
H- Hometown. Joplin, MO
I- Indulgence. chocolate
J- January or February. February
K- Kids. 2
L- Life is incomplete without… solitude, mystery
M- Marriage Date. June 27, 1969
N- Number of Siblings? 2
O- Oranges or Apples? apples
P- Phobias/Fears. heights and speed
Q- Favorite Quote. “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
R- Reasons to smile. babies, salvation
S- Season(ing). pepper
T- Tag Three. Larry, Holly, and Mandy
U- Unknown Fact About Me. I bit my nails until I was about fifty.
V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals. oppressor
W- Worst Habit. over-eating
X- X-rays or Ultrasounds. X-rays
Y- Your Favorite Foods. potatoes, salad, steak . . .
Z- Zodiac. Aquarius
Jesus, the Blessed Child of the Father, is a peacemaker. His peace doesn’t mean only absence of war. It is not simply harmony or equilibrium. His peace is the fullness of well-being, gratuitously given by God. Jesus says, “Peace I leave to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you” (John 14:27).
Peace is Shalom — well-being of mind, heart, and body, individually and communally. It can exist in the midst of a war-torn world, even in the midst of unresolved problems and increasing human conflicts. Jesus made that peace by giving his life for his brothers and sisters. This is no easy peace, but it is everlasting and it comes from God. Are we willing to give our lives in the service of peace?
My poem, “Peace,” has been posted on The Peace Tree.
I just made the hard decsion to remove a favorite and certainly my most frequently published poem “Absolution” from my book manuscript.
“Absolution” was first published in Domicile (Sept. 1999) and reprinted in Wired Art from Wired Hearts (May 2001). It was a mini-chapbook, 24th Street Irregular Press, #322 Poems-For-All Series, (November 2003), and reprinted in The Verb (July, 2004) and Cracked Lenses (July 2005). It has appeared on this blog in March, September and November 2006.
On the rock’s underside,
sleeping in the soft dirt,
roll themselves into balls.
The scent of musty earth
and they scurry to get away—
wishing to live in peace.
How can I justify
this abruptness of sunlight?
Nothing is pure
among thin shadows.
A chill invades me,
and I cast the rock aside,
falling to my knees,
as though my action
might proclaim my innocence.
But who will listen
while I explain—
crying a plaintive cry
to a lonely field
where summer is dying?
Those grubs lie still.
Still. With no premonition
of autumnal joy.
Those grubs lie still
beneath the lifted stone.
An on-going draught left bony carp
the year everyone lived
but didn’t know why. Men on the bridge
used dough balls for bait.
walked on rounded rocks,
doubters pinned frowns to somber faces.
Tom broke his trot line.
when he tried to fix it from a
leaky boat, an old man called him
a “damn fool.” Kids ate tadpoles
from a stagnant pond.
Dragon flies lingered
near its sun-burnt shore.
And “Harry the ’Bo” hummed a song
sung by gandy dancers,
and took his meal in a metal can, as usual,
on the eastern bank of Shoal Creek.
first published in Rearview Quarterly
Jesus, the Blessed Child of God, is merciful. Showing mercy is different from having pity. Pity connotes distance, even looking down upon. When a beggar asks for money and you give him something out of pity, you are not showing mercy. Mercy comes from a compassionate heart; it comes from a desire to be an equal. Jesus didn’t want to look down on us. He wanted to become one of us and feel deeply with us.
When Jesus called the only son of the widow of Nain to life, he did so because he felt the deep sorrow of the grieving mother in his own heart (see Luke 7:11-17). Let us look at Jesus when we want to know how to show mercy to our brothers and sisters.
That’s what a third place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 felt like to Kyle Petty Sunday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
It was Petty’s first top five finish in ten years. Go Kyle!