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Priorities: Heart first; your feet will follow

Morning: Psalm 25;Revelation 7:1-8
Evening: Psalms 9, 15; Luke 9:51-62
Jesus’ invitation to follow him is often heard as a call to self-denial and sacrifice.  But I think it’s more like: Do you really trust me?  One man says, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  We don’t know if he does that after Jesus’ tells him he will need to be ready to rough it.  Two others have more important business right now.  But Jesus says, in effect: Here’s the thing … Let go and let God take care of your many concerns.  Draw strength from me.  A disciple puts heart first; your feet will follow your heart
Recent posts

Pilgrimage & Retreat: Day 11

Morning: Psalms 16, 17;Acts 28:1-6
Evening: Psalm 22; Luke 9:28-36
This morning … the short trip to the airport, and the long journey home.  Here, in Brazilian friends and companions on the human journey, we encountered kindness and generosity.  Just as Jesus was transfigured on the mountain and they saw him for who he was, we ourselves have caught a clearer glimpse of God in this encounter with our companions.  Question for us all:  Have you ever met another person who caused you to marvel at how their eyes sparkle with love, how warm is their welcome to you, how patient their listening ear?  Are you that person for someone?

Pilgrimage & Retreat: Day 10

Morning: Psalm 103; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Luke 1:1-4
Evening: Psalms 67, 96;Isaiah 52:7-10; Acts 1:1-8
Today is St. Luke’s Day … St. Luke the beloved physician, the healer.  Our time here in Brazil is drawing to a close and today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the parish of St. Luke in Marambaia.  That’s 50 years of faithful healing presence and love in one of the poorest and most troubled parts of the city of Belém – true cause for celebration.  Question:  Are there ways and situations you can identify now where you yourself could bring a healing presence?

Pilgrimage & Retreat: Day 9

Morning: Psalm 119:1-24; Jonah 1:17 – 2:10; Acts 27:9-26
Evening: Psalms 12, 13, 14; Luke 9:1-17
Jesus empowered his disciples to go out and bring healing words and actions to the world around.  That’s what we’re talking about with our Brazilian friends here.  We have a lot in common … Just outside this retreat centre, the Amazon flows by, carrying over 20% of the world’s freshwater.  Back in Owen Sound, Georgian Bay stretches up into Lake Huron and the Great Lakes, which hold more than 20% of the world’s freshwater.  Question:  How might we seek to be empowered to preserve and care for the great treasures of natural beauty and wealth that surround us?

Pilgrimage & Retreat: Day 8

Morning: Psalms 5, 6; Jonah 1:1-17a; Acts 26:24 – 27:8
Evening: Psalms 10, 11; Luke 8:40-56 There are many around Jesus who long to get close to him – a ruler of the synagogue, a poor woman with a bleeding disorder.  If I myself knew Jesus was in town today, I would be right there, wouldn’t you?  He still holds our imaginations and we perhaps wonder about his power to make things right on the human stage.  Here in Icoaraçi today I am asking myself a question:  What draws me still to Jesus?  What is it about him that can still help our world to find its way back to wholeness?

Pilgrimage & Retreat: Day 7

Morning: Psalms 1, 2, 3;Micah 7:1-7; Acts 26:1-23
Evening: Psalms 4, 7; Luke 8:26-39
This is the first day of our retreat, at Mount Tabor retreat house in Icoaraçi, near Belém.  Marcelo Barros, a liberation theologian well known in Brazil, will lead us.  It is fitting that the Gospel today is about the man possessed by many demons – called “Legion”.  I think he is like the man in Stephen Leacock’s poem “who leapt on his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”  Jesus liberated the man possessed.  Question: Are there competing values and desires that tear you apart?  What would free you?

Pilgrimage & Retreat: Day 6

Morning: Psalm 146, 147;Micah 6:1-8; I Corinthians 4:9-16
Evening: Psalm 111, 112, 113; Matthew 15:21-28
Today is the Círio de Nazaré – a small statue of Mary is carried through the streets, followed by nearly 2 million people!  Some people (mainly Protestant Christians) condemn this procession as a form of idolatry.  I actually believe it is a pure-hearted devotion of people to all that Mary represents – humility and openness to God’s will.  The Pharisees were ready to condemn those who did what they didn’t agree with … Jesus called them ‘blind guides’.  Question:  Are there judgments or prejudices you hold that prevent you from accepting the sincerity of any other human being?