Showing posts from January, 2016

What is the biggest challenge to joy?

What keeps us from being joyful? Our small Christian community (Lunch with Jesus) that gathers weekly at our San Lorenzo Mission House has reflected a lot lately on what keeps us from experiencing the joy that God hopes for us all. As we've reflected on the Gospel stories together, a theme keeps coming up. The biggest challenge to joy seems to be fear. Fear of the past, fear of the future, fear of today. It paralyzes us and distorts reality in ways that keeps from simply living.

Today as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we are reminded of what he had to say about fear and the challenges he faced in overcoming it. Although he lived this out on a large and historic stage, it is a reality we all face: fear is the enemy, especially fear of loss and ultimately, fear of death.  Until it's confronted, it's hard to do the right thing, much less, simply live with the joy and gratitude that God hopes for us each day.

In his November 5th, 1967 sermon, Dr. King told his cong…
Mercy Moments:  New Years Resolution to Lighten the Load I like to make resolutions.  I’ve been thinking about this Jubilee Year of Mercy and what it might mean for me personally.  I remember back to a conflict resolution activity I facilitated in El Salvador when I was a lay missioner there.  It was for a group of teachers struggling to work together as a team.  I passed around a sack full of small stones, each one only 1-2 inches.  I used the sack as an example of little irritants we sometimes develop with each other and allow to accumulate until they feel like a heavy load.  I gave a handful to each teacher and invited them to unburden their hearts with each other in order to empty the loads of resentment they were carrying but not expressing.  It was a moving experience when at the end, we passed around the empty sack that had started out so heavy.  Mercy can feel like that light sack!  Now I’m asking myself what I need to release in order to feel the lightness of God’s Mercy and b…