小德·拉萨，泰·沃德. Based on a discussion about whether or not the Greeks should be allowed to hear the Gospel, St. 彼得对使徒们说
He [God] made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts”. 在世界各地, people have been divided because of their skin color, 性别, 或者个人信仰. We must see that we are all children of God and that He loves all of us equally. We must be able to see Jesus in everyone we meet, and not discriminate simply because someone is different than us. We must celebrate those differences because God made each of us different for a reason. The best way to spread the word of God is by working with those in our community to make the world a better place. We must come together and stand united as one body to end conflicts around the world.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.(约翰福音14:27-31)害怕是很自然的, and it happens to all of us whether we like to admit it or not. It can be something as simple as meeting someone new, or fear of something bigger like tight spaces. Whatever your fear might be, it is important to know that eventually, our fear will pass. The only person who lived without fear was Jesus because he trusted in God the Father. Let’s be like Jesus and trust in the Lord so our fear can disappear.
小德拉萨，特伦特·米勒. Based on a reading from the Gospel according to John
在今天的福音里, 耶稣对他的门徒说, 爱我的必遵守我的话, 我父也必爱他, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.” (John 14:21-26) Loving and trusting in those around you is a way to assure yourself that you are getting closer to God. When you are truly able to trust those around you that trust in you, then is when you may feel relief from any secrecy you may be experiencing. As school comes to an end in these last few weeks, 希望, you will find someone you can trust or you may have already found this person in our Spartan brotherhood.
The season of Lent calls us to reflect on our own faith life. Are we insecure, unwilling to experience anything that calls us to new territory? Or are we prepared to admit our ongoing need to grow and to welcome when life comes to us as a surprise or challenge? There can be no faith where faith is never tested. Turning away from sinfulness is a matter of accepting the wisdom of trust, 松开我们的拳头, and opening our hands to receive the nourishing grace of God.
One of my favorite lines from John’s Gospel is: Jesus said to those…who believed in him, “如果你遵守我的话, 你们将真正成为我的门徒, 你会知道真相的, 真相会让你自由.(约翰福音8:31-32)
It is important that we never allow what we know to stand in the way of what we still need to learn. During Lent, we are called to face how ignorance has caused us to lose touch with ourselves. 敞开心扉接受上帝的医治, we can find the faith and the humility to walk away from sinfulness and back to authenticity, able again to grow in our understanding that to be free is to live the truth.
In the Gospel Jesus assures us: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and 门会被打开 to you. 每个问我的人, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, 门会被打开." (Matthew 7:7-8) I invite you to be courageous in your asking, seeking, and knocking. 退后一步, 好好审视你的生活, 花更多的时间在祷告上, 在禁食, 在给予中, may you become more and more clear as to what you are asking and seeking from God. Only then may you know what doors to knock upon and be ready for what lies on the other side of that door when it is opened!
There is a story from the writings of the Desert Fathers in which a group of monks come to their elder with a question: “Tell us, when we see brothers dozing during the sacred office, should we pinch them so they will stay awake?老人对他们说, “实际上, 如果我看到一个兄弟在睡觉, I would put his head on my knees and let him rest.”
Many of us struggle with the challenge of living nonjudgmentally. 就像沙漠之父故事里的僧侣一样, we search for ways to justify reorganizing the world to our own liking. 和, 就像马太福音里的彼得, we search for ways to appoint ourselves arbiters of God’s justice. 然而, 耶稣呼召我们要谦卑, in which we see others’ transgressions as reminders of our own imperfections and of our shared need to bring ourselves closer to one another and to God. 这就是宽恕之美. It works to heal not only the forgiven but also the forgiver, allowing both to move forward by freeing us from the impulse to hold our hurts and mistakes so tightly that they come to define us.
作者Paul Boese建议道, “宽恕并不能改变过去, 但它确实扩大了未来.” Forgiveness builds community, and community reveals God’s kingdom. Lent is a good time to renew in ourselves the commitment to both seek and accept reconciliation so that our light can always overcome our darkness. When it comes to our need for redemption and another chance to be at our best, 上帝的最后一句话永远不会是不, 我们的也不可能.