Monday, November 25, 2013


Though in the form of God, Jesus did not claim equality with God but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, human like one of us.

Flesh and blood, he humbled himself, obeying to the death, death on a cross. 
For this very reason God lifted him high and gave him the name above all names.
So at the name of Jesus every knee will bend in heaven, on earth, and in the world below, and every tongue exclaim to the glory of God the Father, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”   
Phil. 2:6-11

Follow the  Jesus Reads Hearts
Yesterday we celebrated ‘Christ the King.’   The gospel was the story of the good thief; a snapshot of one of God’s masterpieces.    Jesus, God made man, is dying on the cross and he extends to the good thief love, mercy, Paradise.  Obviously, Jesus saw in the thief’s heart a masterpiece in the making: the good thief was a work in process even until his last breath. 
That is good news for us as we stumble and mumble our way through life.  We are a work in process on our way to being God’s masterpiece.   We do the best we can with all our gifts and gaffes, talents and tendencies. And then God puts on the finishing touches and we become a work of art. 
In less than a week from today, the liturgical year begins with the First Sunday of Advent:  a time of beautiful symbolism and readings as we light a candle and await the comings of our God.    Ironically, the gospel reading for the First Sunday of Advent is from Matthew and talks about staying awake so a thief may not break into your house. 

How would it be if we stayed awake so we could be ready for the Thief of Hearts, Jesus, when he breaks into our hearts!  Instead of stealing from us Jesus, the Thief of Hearts would bestow on us love, mercy.  And we would become God’s masterpiece – a shining example of God’s salvific love for all humankind! 

It could happen now; it could happen, like the good thief, on our last breath.  Whenever, or however, it happens, we can take comfort in the fact that we are a work in process; a work of art not to be hidden away but seen and experienced by all around us.   Even the masterpieces Celeste and Alphonsus, who seemed to have been blessed from an early age as manifesting the work of art that they were during their lifetime, were works in process.   As Redemptoristines, living in our own time and place, we are called to radiate the spirit of love and mercy by giving witness to the Risen Christ.  
Your Face
The finishing touch to Jesus life was his resurrection.   The finishing touch on the good thief’s life was encountering Jesus’ love and mercy, and entering Paradise.  What will our finishing touches be?   What will be our future?   God knows.  So, let us stay awake as we await the Thief of Hearts and see what finishing touches God has in store for us as a masterpiece in process on our way to Paradise.  


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