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Urban Impressions of the Stations of the Cross

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Unexpected

Take a moment to read John 1: 35-39:
“The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.”
Those two disciples were going about an average day. They were following John the Baptist, their teacher, doing those little things they did each day. It was ordinary. They probably knew what their day would entail - a few chores at work, listening to the teachings from John, sharing a meal with friends, the usual sort of day. 

Then the impossible happened, walking down the street, they encountered God. All we know is that they heard and followed, but what were they thinking. What questions did they have? Did they start wondering about those chores waiting for them or whether they would end up having that dinner with friends? Did they realize that this was one of those moments where everything they knew would change?

Encounters with God rarely come when we are ready, waiting, and looking for Him. We are far more likely to be jolted from our routine by the unexpected moments reminding us of God's presence. 

To experience these encounters, we need to be aware - we need to listen for the voice that says to us, "Behold, the Lamb of God." 

Today, spend some time listening for those hints of God's presence in your life. Take a few minutes in prayer to listen to God and to answer the question Jesus asked of the two disciples, "What are you looking for?"

Jennifer Delvaux

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Introduction - One Step Closer

There are certain things, I feel safe assuming about you, the reader.

First, I would bet you are busy. Whether it is work, school, hobbies, a list of new books to read or movies to see, friends, family, and (hopefully) Church community, you have a multitude of things filling your daily schedule.

Two, no matter if you never quite remember to say grace before meals or a short prayer before bed or you spend hours in adoration and catch Mass daily at 6 am, you could take one step further in your relationship with God.

That is what we are focusing on this month - challenging you to take one step closer to God. This isn’t intended to be a major theological construct or a long list of things to do to make you more holy. Rather, this is our simple offering of a reflection, some media, or other bite-sized daily content that you can spend five minutes with, and therefore spend five minutes more with God.

Each week will have a different theme between now and the First Sunday of Advent. There will be a pattern for each weekday highlighting things like scripture, art, music, and of course the highest form of communication - memes.

We invite you to join us for this first week as we focus on encounter.

Encounter isn’t a word we use in casual conversation. It may creep its way into more dramatic stories we recount over dinner to our friends. The word has more weight, more drama, than to simply say, I met someone. There is a sense of intimacy, of surprise to the word.

It is appropriate to apply the word to our God. We have a God who we can encounter daily. Our God is one who seeks that intimate relationship with us. Our God is a God of surprises.

This week we challenge you to encounter God in your life.
  • Take a minute at the start of the day to ask God to open your mind, heart, ears, and eyes to God’s presence?
  • Take a minute midday to offer a prayer that you might be the presence of God for someone you will encounter this afternoon.
  • Take a minute to offer a prayer for a priest, lay minister, or volunteer you have encountered at Church.
  • Take a minute over your dinner to encounter God’s presence in the individual you are sharing the meal with, the hands that prepared the food, and the hands that grew the food.
  • Take a minute at the end of the day to ask yourself where you were surprised by God?
Jennifer Delvaux
Director of Faith Formation

One Word at a Time - Abound