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The Chalice
Friday, October 11 2019

Wild Geese (from Dream Work by Mary Oliver)

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers. 
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, 
are heading home again.  
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Jesus Christ is on his way to Jerusalem and a group of lepers called out, “Jesus, have mercy on us.” Jesus heals them and one returned to Jesus and thanked him. I believe that God calls us to give thanks for everything we have. With a thankful heart, we are able to be healed of more than our physical ailments. We are made whole when we realize that everything comes through the mercy and grace of God. Jesus Christ came that you may have life and live it more abundantly. Abundant life is a life lived in thankfulness. But that does not mean that our lives are perfect. At times, we need to share our despair with others and listen to their despair in return. We are created in the image of God to follow God’s path of mercy, forgiveness, and love. Let your love flow in your life in everything you do. Give thanks for everything you have and don’t worry about the nine lepers that did not return. The harvest is great and the laborers are few. Let your light shine even if you are surrounded by darkness.

The older I get the more interested and fascinated I am by nature. Last week, Barb and I restored our souls through a quiet week at Saltaire on Fire Island. I love to watch the birds feeding as the waves roll across the shore and the seagulls standing on one foot staring at the beautiful view right next to me. It puts everything in perspective for me. I had a wonderful week with God in creation and my family.  We enjoyed long walks on the beach, visiting the lighthouse, healthy eating, puzzles, reading, and meeting old friends.

I often see twenty percent of the people giving eighty percent of their time and donations, but I don’t mind. I think that being the leper that returns is all that matters. I doubt you’ll win the lottery because you are a good person and I’m sure you are just as susceptible to disease as anyone else. But I believe that finding your place in the family of things is important. If you choose the path of Jesus Christ then you will be blessed with a thankful heart and abundant life. Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled and that has made all the difference.”

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Duncan

Posted by: Rev. Duncan A. Burns AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email