Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bishop’s Note: July 21, 2016 – Stop. Rest. Listen.

Bishop Eric Menees

Last Sunday’s gospel lesson was taken from the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. This was the account of Jesus’ visit to Mary and Martha. You’ll remember that this scripture, taken from verses 38-42, reminds us of Martha’s anxiety at serving Jesus and the disciples, while her sister Mary chose the better portion by choosing to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to his teaching.

The Lord’s timing is always perfect, and given the events of this past week, along with the accompanying anxiety over news of the impending confiscation of our properties, the story of Martha and Mary is timely.

Martha always gets the bad wrap, but who can blame her for being anxious? Jesus and the disciples show up unannounced. First century custom required hospitality to be offered, and she was stuck working all alone, to serve all of those people.

Ultimately, Jesus’ gentle rebuke of Martha, (“Martha, Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”), and his praise of Mary, was an act of love — to her and to us.

Like Martha, we all experience anxiety, for a variety of reasons, and we’d be naive to think that Mary didn’t experience the same anxious pull as Martha. Cultural mores are strong, and yet Mary recognizes the opportunity before her, and it outweighs her anxiety. Her actions serve as an example for us in dealing with our own anxiety – from whatever source that anxiety may come.

First, when we start to feel anxious, we need to STOP for a second and ask the question: “What is the source of my anxiety, and is this a matter of life and death?”

Secondly, we need to REST. When we don't slow down - when our anxiety pushes us - we start spinning our wheels, and rather than accomplishing a great deal, we accomplish very little. More importantly, in our anxious activity we start to think that WE have the ability to fix whatever problem lies before us. In this thinking, we lose sight of that fact that it is, in reality, God who is the one who can take care of whatever problem lies before us. When we rest in the Lord, we submit to him with the knowledge that he is sovereign -  he is almighty, all powerful, and all knowing. In him, we can trust and rest.

Lastly, we need to LISTEN. While Luke doesn't record what Jesus taught that night, whatever it was, Martha missed out. If we don't stop and listen, there is no telling what we may miss out on. In a world where we have so many voices calling to us for attention, we need to focus on Jesus and his voice!

Ultimately, Jesus wants to free us from the slavery of anxiety by inviting us to stop anxiously working, rest at his feet, and listen to him. 

In light of the decision by the Supreme Court, and the process we’ve begun to hand over the confiscated properties, we do well to remember the example of Mary – to Stop, Rest, and Listen.

I pray you all a truly blessed week!


Catechism Questions: 315-317

315. How else is the Seventh Commandment broken?
Fornication, same-gender sexual acts, rape, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, pornography, lust, or any other form of self-centered sexual desire and behavior, all violate this law. (Leviticus 18; Romans 1:18-28; Matthew 5:27-30)

316. What does it mean for you to be chaste?
It means that I must refrain from sexual acts outside of marriage; and I must respect myself and all others in body, mind, and spirit; practice sexual purity; and view others as image bearers of God, not as objects of personal gratification. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)

317. How do you benefit from chastity?
Chastity enables me to give of myself in friendship, avoid difficulty in marriage, and experience the true freedom of integrity before God. (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bishop’s Note: July 14, 2016 – The Good Samaritan

Bishop Eric Menees

Last week I had the privilege of celebrating Holy Eucharist, confirming two people, and preaching at St. David’s - San Rafael. The gospel lesson, for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, was taken from Luke Chapter 10, verses 25-37 – the Parable of the Good Samaritan. This is one of the most well-known and beloved teachings of Jesus.

One of the traits of the parables of Jesus is the implicit invitation to identify with one of the characters in the parable. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, most often we are invited to identify with either the Priest or the Levite who pass by the robbed and beaten man, crossing to the other side of the road. Or we can identify with the Good Samaritan who stops and helps the man who has been beaten, robbed, and left for dead. 

If I am honest, I can say that I can identify with all three. There are times when I’ve stopped and helped, like the Good Samaritan. There are other times when I’ve passed by, rationalizing my behavior; excusing myself, feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit, and repenting.

Of course, what we strive for is to model our lives after the example of the Good Samaritan. Recognizing the inherent value of all people, (regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, economic status, etc., etc.) we would stop and offer sacrificial help to the person in need, and thereby demonstrate the love of Christ.

There are times, however, when we identify not with the Good Samaritan, the Priest, or the Levite, but with the man who was beaten and robbed. All of us, to one extent or another, are that man. Life’s injustices and pains, unmet hopes and dreams, and just the reality of living in a fallen world, beat us down and injure the soul.

It is in this realization of our own woundedness, that we recognize that in Jesus Christ we have so much more than just a Good Samaritan – we have a risen Lord and Savior, who died for our sins and rose again!  In Jesus Christ, we may have been beaten down and robbed, but we are not now - and will never be - left in the gutter. We have God the Holy Spirit to lift us up and propel us forward. Our identity is not as a victim, but as a transformed and victorious adopted child of God.

My prayer for each of us in these difficult times is that we will live the victorious life that Jesus calls us to. It is not an easy or comfortable life. It is, however, a life full of purpose and grace; full of opportunities to love and serve the Lord. And to that I say… AMEN!

The Lord bless and keep you all!

Catechism Questions: 312-314

312. What does marriage illustrate?
The New Testament reveals that human marriage is meant to reflect the faithful love that unites Christ to his Church. (Ephesians 5:21-33)

313. What does it mean to be faithful in marriage?
To be faithful in marriage is to be exclusively devoted in heart, mind, and body to one’s spouse in the marriage covenant. (Ephesians 5:29-31)

314. Is divorce ever permitted?
Although he permits divorce in some cases, God hates it. It severs what he has joined, and causes immeasurable pain, suffering and brokenness. (Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 19:1-12; 1 Corinthians 7:12-16)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Pentecost 8C 2016

The Good Samaritan

Fr. Dale Matson


We begin this week as we began last week. In a society, which has been led to believe that I’m OK and your OK, we now wonder if there is still a right and wrong. The Epistle lesson for last Sunday stated in part, “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”

Our opening collect for this week states in part, “O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them.”

Our Epistle lesson for this week also states, “For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work.

It seems obvious to me that God is leading us by our readings to the Gospel lesson for today. Good conduct is not optional for the Christian. The Christian must first know the proper conduct and then follow through. We are faced with moral decisions all of the time. Sometimes we do the wrong thing out of ignorance, that is, we don’t know any better or simply out of inattention. For example, how about jaywalking? Here is what California state code 21955 states, “…pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.” How many folks knew that? How many folks know that and have done it anyway?

Our Gospel lesson is about the right thing to do but you will see that it is much more than that. “Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live." But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 

I think this is not just a lawyerly question that he asked. It is the same question that we would ask. He wanted to know what the minimum requirement was so that he could honor only the letter of the law. He didn’t want to honor the spirit of the law, which went far beyond what he was willing to accept. It’s kind of like when I would be lecturing in a class and a student would ask me, “Will this be on the test?” My usual response was, “Why of course, everything I say may be on the test.” 

Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. This is important to listen here since Jesus is saying that the man was naked and probably unconscious from the beating thus his nationality, social status or even that he is alive cannot be determined. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

First, let me explain the difference between a priest and a Levite. All priests are Levites but not all Levites are priests. Levites are temple assistants to the Priests. Priests were descendants of Aaron who was a Levite. Levites were the tribe that did not worship the Golden Calf.

So why did the priest and Levite pass by this man? It is possible that they believed that the man was dead and to touch him would have made them ritually unclean. They both knew the Law and neither deemed the man their neighbor.They, like the lawyer had lived by the letter of the law. This is an important point Jesus is always making that we must live by the spirit of the law.

Jesus emphasized the spirit of the law over the letter quite clearly in the Gospel of Mark when He criticized the Pharisees who believed that the money a man set aside as tithes for the temple could be withheld from his needy parents.

But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, `Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.' Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." 

Jesus turns the lawyer’s question around. Which of these three was a neighbor. In this, He is putting the burden on the lawyer himself. In other words, He is asking the lawyer, “To whom are you a neighbor not who is your neighbor?”

Jesus was also shaming His fellow Jew by using a hated Samaritan as the one who was willing to take the risk of helping the injured man who could even have been a Jew himself.
Really, there were more reasons not to help the injured man than to help him. The Jews would not be blamed for passing by an enemy if he was a hated Samaritan. Remember, the Jews were very concerned about someone’s pedigree, their social standing. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, when Philip told Nathanial that they had found the savior, Jesus of Nazareth, Nathanial said, “Can anything good come out Nazareth?”

The thieves were possibly still in the area and might attack someone else. Unfortunately it is only too easy to see us as the upstanding and proud Levite or Priest and not the Samaritan.
What Jesus is saying in this parable is that of the three men who encountered the injured man, only the Samaritan man was motivated by love. His love was merciful, nurturing, generous, sacrificial, courageous and unconditional.

Now I would like to examine the story of the Good Samaritan on a more symbolic level that I believe Jesus was intending also. The Parables are like a mine that continues to yield nuggets of gold. Like the parable of the prodigal, it is possible to see ourselves in any one of the three persons. In one sense we can be the prodigal and at another time we may be the older brother and finally we can be the father. In the Prodigal it is the older brother who did what was right but lived the letter of the law not the spirit. He was righteous, did what was expected of him but he was not gracious. The father is similar to the Good Samaritan. Both are benevolent and selfless.

So, who really is the Good Samaritan in this parable? I believe the Good Samaritan is Jesus referring to Himself. The Jews hate him, like the Samaritan. Who is the man the man robbed and beaten by thieves, lying naked and half dead along the road? That man is us. We are the ones rescued by the Good Samaritan Jesus. In the Gospel of John (10:10) Jesus states, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have [it] abundantly.” We have been nearly killed by Satan.

Whom do the priest and Levite represent? They are the proper people, the self-righteous, and the people who are religious but not spiritual. They are the ones who live by the letter of the law not the spirit of the law. They do the right thing but they do not love. This can be us too just as we can be the prodigals or the older brother depending on the day of the week. These are the people trying to remove the sliver from their neighbor’s eye but suffering from a stick in their own.

Let’s take the symbolism even further. The Samaritan used oil and wine to dress the man’s wounds. The oil represents the Holy Spirit and the wine represents the Blood of Christ. “By His stripes we were healed.” (1Peter 2:24) What is the inn? It is the church where we are cared for until His return. This of course is His return to earth. The innkeeper is the Holy Spirit who cares for the church and us until His return.

If we examine the story of the Good Samaritan today in light of the events in our nation and how we respond to them would there be people who would be unhappy that the tale of the Good Samaritan was not about justice also? The thieves beat and robbed the man. Jesus does not deal with the injustice of the crime and the fact that the thieves were not apprehended and punished. This is a story about love and neighbor not justice.

When I think about all the suffering in this world it is easy for us to get caught up in it, to dwell on it, to ruminate on it. It is important to stay informed but it is also important not to be overwhelmed by excessive reading, listening and watching what is going on in this fallen world today. I recommend not being immersed to the extent that you’re constantly fearful. Fear is bad for us. Fear causes us to internalize, to only think of ourselves and “awfulize”. Fear isolates us. It is when I am in the worry frame of mind that the Holy Spirit speaks to me.
 
The Holy Spirit asks me the usual questions. Are you sharing the beautiful? Do you have too much? (Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Give it away”) When is the last time you called your sister? Have you invited your son to lunch lately? Did you exercise today? Are you being a good steward of your body? Have you been productive? Is the world a better place because of your actions today? Have you offered a word of encouragement to the discouraged? Are you about your Father’s business? Dwell on the good! Dwell on the Good! Amen  





Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bishop’s Note: July 07, 2016 – Responding to Tragedy

Bishop Eric Menees

This past Sunday, I had the honor to preach and celebrate at St. Peter’s, Kernville. Kernville is one of the small mountain communities recently devastated by the Erskine Fire, which burned thousands of acres, scores of homes, and took the lives of two of our own - Fr. Byron & Gladys McKaig.

I began my sermon a little differently than usual – I began with the words of Jesus on that first Easter Sunday in the Upper Room: “Peace be with you.”  I said that, because I recognized that over the past two weeks, so many at St. Peter’s, and throughout the entire community, had known so much chaos; not only with the deaths of Fr. Byron & Gladys, but with the devastating fire that swept through so many of the neighborhoods ringing Lake Isabella.

I wish there were a simple answer to why tragedies like this occur – or more precisely, why God allows tragedies like this to occur. Unfortunately, I do not have that simple answer. But, I look forward to that conversation with the Lord, when the time comes. Sadly, simply saying: “We live in a fallen world,” while theologically simple and true, is not very satisfying.

This does not mean that we, as Christians, do not have a response to this tragedy and others around the world. The response is: Jesus Christ – sharing his Love, Grace, and Peace!

So much of our ministry, as baptized Christians, is not found in our eloquent response to profound theological and philosophical questions. Instead, our ministry is found in our presence. To be present with a brother or sister who has lost a home to fire, as our brothers and sisters at St. Peter’s have done recently, speaks volumes about our Faith as Christians. To be present at the bedside of a brother or sister from church who is ill, in pain, and asking the question: “Why me?” speaks volumes about our Hope as Christians. To be present with a brother or sister who feels unlovable and unloved, speaks volumes about our Love as Christians.

This is not to say that we are to be present and silent. I often hear the quote attributed to - but very likely not from - St. Francis: “You are to preach the gospel at all times, and if you must, use words.” Our actions do speak very loudly about our faith, hope, and love, but our words of faith, hope, and love can make those Christian gifts and virtues come to life.

My prayer for you, and my prayer for me, is that we will have the grace and courage to respond to tragedy by being present with hurting brothers and sisters – not necessarily with the right answer, but by being physically present, as Jesus was in that upper room with these words of faith, hope, and love: PEACE BE WITH YOU!

I pray you all a very blessed week.

Catechism Questions: 309-311

309. What is the Seventh Commandment?
The Seventh Commandment is: “You shall not commit adultery.”

310. What does it mean not to commit adultery?
Marriage is holy. Married persons are to be faithful to their spouses as long as they both shall live. So I must not engage in sexual activity with anyone other than my spouse. (Deuteronomy 22-24:5; See Questions 128-130)

311. Why does God ordain marriage?
God ordains marriage for three important purposes: for the procreation of children to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; for a remedy against sin and to avoid fornication; and for mutual friendship, help, and comfort, both in prosperity and adversity. (Genesis 1:28; Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 22:6; 31:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5; Book of Common Prayer)


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Let Us Not Grow Weary Of Doing What Is Right


Fr. Dale Matson

My homily is taken from a portion of our Epistle Lesson from Galatians.

“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”

For the entire month of June and this, the first Sunday in July our Epistle lessons have been from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians. I would like to begin by offering a brief overview of Galatians and then discuss why this letter is as appropriate for today as when it was first written. I think of Galatians as ‘boot camp’ for new Christians and seasoned Christians seeking renewal. The following overview of Galatians is from an Internet posting by the U.S. conference of Catholic Bishops

“The Galatians to whom the letter is addressed were Paul’s converts, most likely among the descendants of Celts who had invaded western and central Asia Minor in the third century B.C. and had settled in the territory around Ancyra (modern Ankara, Turkey). Paul had passed through this area on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:6) and again on his third (Acts 18:23).”

The new Christians whom Paul is addressing were converts from paganism (Gal 4:8–9) who were now being enticed by other missionaries to add the observances of the Jewish law, including the rite of circumcision, to the cross of Christ as a means of salvation. For, since Paul’s visit, some other interpretation of Christianity had been brought to these neophytes, probably by converts from Judaism (the name “Judaizers” is sometimes applied to them); it has specifically been suggested that they were Jewish Christians who had come from the austere Essene sect.

These interlopers insisted on the necessity of following certain precepts of the Mosaic Law along with faith in Christ. They were undermining Paul’s authority also, asserting that he had not been trained by Jesus himself, that his gospel did not agree with that of the original and true apostles in Jerusalem, that he had kept from his converts in Galatia the necessity of accepting circumcision and other key obligations of the Jewish law, in order more easily to win them to Christ, and that his gospel was thus not the full and authentic one held by “those of repute” in Jerusalem (Gal 2:2). Some scholars also see in Galatians 5; 6 another set of opponents against whom Paul writes, people who in their emphasis on the Spirit set aside all norms for conduct and became libertines in practice.

When Paul learned of the situation, he wrote this defense of his apostolic authority and of the correct understanding of the faith. He set forth the unique importance of Christ and his redemptive sacrifice on the cross, the freedom that Christians enjoy from the old burdens of the law, the total sufficiency of Christ and of faith in Christ as the way to God and to eternal life, and the beauty of the new life of the Spirit. Galatians is thus a summary of basic Pauline theology. Its themes were more fully and less polemically developed in the Letter to the Romans.

In his vigorous emphasis on the absolute preeminence of Christ and his cross as God’s way to salvation and holiness, Paul stresses Christian freedom and the ineffectiveness of the Mosaic law for gaining divine favor and blessings (Gal 3:19–29). The pious Jew saw in the law a way established by God to win divine approval by a life of meticulous observance of ritual, social, and moral regulations.

But Paul’s profound insight into the higher designs of God in Christ led him to understand and welcome the priority of promise and faith (shown in the experience of Abraham, Gal 3:6–18) and the supernatural gifts of the Spirit (Gal 3:2–5; 5:16–6:10). His enthusiasm for this new vision of the life of grace in Christ and of the uniquely salvific role of Christ’s redemptive death on the cross shines through this whole letter.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/galatians/0

I believe the letter to the Galatians is the best description of what it means to live the spiritual life. It is the transition from the carnal life of a pagan to life in the Spirit. St. Paul makes it quite clear that the spiritual life is NOT obtained by living according to rules of conduct. It is NOT a life lived according to the Old Covenant under the Laws of Moses. In short, one’s eternal salvation is not earned by obeying a set of rules. We want to obey the commandments because we are saved.

In fact, Abraham the father of the Israelites was a pagan who believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. (Galatians 3:6) It is faith that saves us. But then you may say to me, “Well then, faith itself is a good work. It is something we must do.” Even the faith to accept the Gospel is itself given to us by God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Paul states in Romans (12:3) that each is given a measure of faith. If only my faith were as great as a mustard seed!

At the same time, the spiritual life, while a life of liberty is NOT a life of license. While the Christian that is led by the Holy Spirit is no longer under the Law, that Christian is not above the Law.
When we are saved we cannot do whatever we want. In fact while we are set free from the Law, Christians become slaves to Christ. Paul previously stated in Galatians, “For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” I think the best way to understand this verse is with another verse. “My yoke is easy, My burden is light.” A yoke of oxen is a pair of oxen. Being a slave to Christ means He rightfully owns us because He paid for us with His own flesh and blood. He has freed us from sin and death. We recoil at the idea of slavery yet five different New Testament writers refer to themselves as slaves of Christ. As we say in our Morning Prayer collect, “To know Him is eternal life and to serve Him is perfect freedom.” In answering the question, “What is the right thing for the Christian to do?” we should think of ourselves first as slaves to Christ. Will our actions bring glory to God?

For me, the following verse from Galatians is something I meditate on often.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” This is not just the idea that we live for Christ and no longer for ourselves. This is not just the idea that our lives no longer belong to us but to Him Who rescued us. This is also a literal understanding that Christ lives in us. This fact is stated twice in our celebration of the Eucharist. In the Great Thanksgiving, the priest states, “And here we offer and present unto Thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto Thee; humbly beseeching Thee that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with Thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with Him, that He may dwell in us, and we in Him.”

In Rite One in our Prayer Of Humble Access we pray, “Grant us therefore, Gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink His blood, that we may evermore dwell in Him, and He in us. Amen.” Could we be any more closely united to Christ than He in us and we in Him? As we live out our lives this begins to show itself in the fruits of the Spirit that manifest themselves in our actions. These fruits are also listed in Paul’s letter to the Galatians chapter 5. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (22-23).

It is easy to say, “let us not grow weary of doing what is right” but it is harder to put this into action. We often hear about “compassion fatigue” and how it causes us to turn away from those who need help. Lately God has been reminding me through encounters with the poor and homeless.

Sharon and I know a man who retired as general manager and vice president from a local TV station. He started a day care and boarding business for dogs and we have taken our dogs to him for nearly 20 years. The other day we were on our weekly Costco run and meal out at the food court. As we were driving home we saw a street person asking for money on the corner of Abbey and Alluvial. It is pretty standard fare to see someone on this corner and we are usually prepared to offer help but I am often left with the nagging doubt whether these folks are authentic. Some have the weathered skin of folks on the street however. I reached out the passenger window with a dollar and the unshaven man thanked me. I said to Sharon, “Isn’t that so and so?” She agreed. It was the same man. We looked on the Internet and someone else owned his dog care business located at his former home. How far this man had fallen.

Friday was July 1st and that means it was time for my monthly weigh-in at Weight Watchers. As I approached the building in the Villagio Shopping Center, a woman yelled something to me. I sensed she wanted money as she began to approach but I quickly walked into the building to weigh-in hoping she would be gone when I was done. Of course, God is patient with me, once again giving me a second chance to be merciful. She was waiting for me when I stepped out the door. She said her husband had recently died and she had lost her house. “Can you help me?” Christ in me overruled my suspicious cynical self and I gave her some money. She said, “There is no one to help me”. I said, “God will help, don’t lose heart.” She agreed and I gave her a blessing too.

My compassion meter was again on “normal” and out of the red zone. It is not me that is compassionate. It is Christ in me and in those I am asked to help. Let us not grow weary of doing what is right. Amen