Friday, October 26, 2012

Living the Truth in Love

Living the Truth in Love

October 27, 2012
Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole Body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the Body's growth and builds itself up in love.  Ephesians 4:15-16

And he told them this parable: "There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, 'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none.  So cut it down.  Why should it exhaust the soil?'  He said to him in reply, 'Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future.  If not you can cut it down.'"  Luke 13:6-9


Father, change us.  Sometimes we are a tadpole swimming against the tide waiting to develop into a frog.  At other times we are the frog waiting for a beautiful maiden to kiss us and change us into a prince.  Free us from ourselves so that we may see you more clearly, love you more dearly and serve you more completely every day by day. 


If we continue getting closer in friendship to Jesus…
If we continue learning more about Him through our study…
If we continue to encounter Him through others in our love in action…
…then we will change from what we are to what He wants us to be, what we should be.
This kind of "out with the status quo, in with the old" is the call of the Gospels all week.  We can change willingly (that's the easy way) or we can be forced to change (that's the not-so-easy way).  The latter may call on us to cast our status quo self into the refiner's fire.  What will emerge is Christ dwelling in our hearts.  Rooted and grounded in his love, we will accomplish with him far more than we can ever accomplish on our own.   
Christ has the patience of the gardener with us.  Even when we are stubborn, wilted, barren fig trees.  Christ knows that there is a sweet fruit inside each of us waiting to come out.  Although some might be tempted to cut us down to size, Christ will keep tending to us, waiting for us to change, hoping for us to change.  And when we do change and let Him into (or back into) our lives, His waiting will pay off and he will be running down the road to welcome us home to His dwelling place.  When we give Christ a place in our hearts to live in this world , he returns the courtesy and make us a place to live for all eternity.    


This week, please keep in your prayers some of our neighbors in Northern Virginia who are trekking to Honduras with a volunteer Medical Brigade.  Honduras is the second poorest nation in the hemisphere.  When they get there, they will live for a little over a week with the world's poorest people who have little or no access to basic healthcare services.  This condition results in babies being born without prenatal care, getting infections left untreated, diabetes undiagnosed, and pain without relief.
The Medical Brigade was originally launched in 1999 following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch.  Annually, the team returns to Comayagua, Honduras for a week-long mission. According to the Virginia Hospital Center web site, in its last mission, the Medical Brigade performed:
  • 8,600 patient examinations
  • 76 surgeries
  • 225 hearing assessments and 70 hearing aids provided
  • 370 physical therapy services
  • 25 pediatric eye surgeries and 3027 pairs of eyeglasses distributed
Staffed by a committed delegation of volunteers year-round, all aspects of the Medical Brigade are supported by giving - giving of time, donated medical supplies and equipment, and financial support. Each Medical Brigade member pays his or own way (about $1,200) to join the mission.
Pray for these volunteer missionaries that they may entertain angels and change the lives of those they encounter this week by their actions.  Pray for the people they will serve, that in accepting service, these people may change the hearts and minds of these stranger in a strange land -- these suburban American Virginians in Honduras. 

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