Friday, February 11 2022
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you,
revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven;
for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. (Luke 6:20-24)
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus gives a passionate teaching to all who will listen. Most of us know this as the Sermon on the Mount, but today, Jesus is sitting on level ground teaching his disciples, all who have gathered to hear him speak, and those who are trying to touch him in order to get healed. In fact, Jesus is speaking to all people in all times. We all hear these words again and again. Some of this teaching is very difficult to understand, but one verse stands out to me as a summary of all the rest. Even my nursery school children know this verse from scripture. They know it as the “golden rule.” We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. While this is a simple rule to understand, Jesus turns the perspectives of world upside down in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus will cross boundaries, break religious rules, and cause people to be so uncomfortable that they will nail him to a cross to suffer and die. We must also push the boundaries of our own understanding, if we are ever to truly understand these radical teachings from Jesus.
The truth that God loves each and every one of us and that through the transforming grace of God in heaven, through the incarnation of God coming down to us and being both fully divine and fully human, we too can go into the deep water and meet the Risen Lord. Jesus is able to kindle a fire of love in our hearts that we may shine that light to all people. Please take some time to listen carefully to the Gospel of Luke over these next six months. I truly believe that this Gospel has something to say to you that can change your life and make you a beacon of hope. We will see God’s redemptive purposes, hear about God’s saving grace offered to all, learn about the dangers of loving money and material things, feel the blessings of poverty, and learn how to be a disciple, sent out into the world to be an authentic witness of God’s truth.
I spent the week at Holy Cross Monastery to deepen my relationship with Jesus Christ. Each day we spent the majority of the day giving praise to God and praying for the world. I give thanks for Coral and Deacon Claire for covering for me at St. John’s. I give thanks to my wife for letting me have a week of obedience, humility, and silence with the Benedictine Monks.
Please take a look at all the offerings that we have at St. John’s during Lent:
Ash Wednesday - Imposition of Ashes
March 2, 2022 at 7:00 pm in church and via zoom
Monday - Friday at 9 am via Zoom
Mondays at 6:30 pm via Zoom
Tuesdays at 11 am via Zoom
Lenten Series- "Living Beyond the Borders"
Tuesdays in Lent via Zoom
March 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, April 5th - 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm
The Rev. Canon David Ulloa Chavez, Canon for Border Ministries for the Diocese of Arizona, will lead a five-part series referencing the book The US Immigration Crisis by Miquel de la Torre. For our 2022 Lenten Series we will partner with St. Francis of the Valley. The program will be offered at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm to accommodate our different time zones. You are welcome to join at either time. At St. John's, we will begin with Stations of the Cross at 6:00 pm, Evening Prayer at 6:30 pm. The program will be from 7:00-8:30 pm.
In person Lenten Retreat - Quiet Day with Bishop Wolf
Saturday, March 12, 2022, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Assistant Bishop of Long Island, will lead a Lenten quiet day of reflection and prayer at St. John's. We will meet in the Great Hall, there will also be an option to Zoom in. Suggested donation $15.
In Christ’s love,