“Whoever receives a
child in my name receives me, and receives the one who sent me.”(Lk 9: 46-50)
The photos will break
your heart. Young children, babies on rickety boats, sitting in bombed-out
buildings, living in tents, separated from their parents at international
borders. We may find ourselves becoming immune or even intolerant of this influx
of those escaping poverty and violence. Think of this verse each time you see an
image of or read a story about immigrants and refugees. What would Jesus have us
“Perish the day I was
born. Why did I not come forth from the womb and expire?”
(Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23)
You’ve likely heard the
expression, “have the patience of Job.” While he refuses to blame God or admit
wrongdoing as the source of his plight, he by no means sits by silently. He
laments and complains and debates with his friends. He moans and groans and
curses the day he was born. But there’s something I like about that. When things
go wrong, we might think we need to suffer in silence. I’m not sure that’s what
God expects. If we don’t dialogue with God about our suffering, how are we to
learn the lessons our sorrow is to teach? Grief, anger, and doubt are all part
of our human condition and by squelching them, we can become bitter. If you are
dealing with difficulty in your life, tell God of your misery and seek God’s
Someone said to (Jesus), “I
will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered, “Foxes have dens and birds of
the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”(Lk
Jesus is an itinerant
preacher, someone who travels from place to place spreading their interpretation
of God’s message. I don’t think he’s lamenting the lack of a home to call his
own, but rather explaining to those eager to follow him one of the costs of
discipleship. I guess we could take this literally, sell our houses and
possessions, and hit the road, but I think Jesus’ message goes beyond that.
Being a disciple means we are always on a journey, never quite at rest, alert
for opportunities to further the Kingdom. It means ridding our hearts of the
things or people that take precedence over God. Often, material possessions are
what stands in the way, but it can also be power, reputation, our families, even
rigid religious adherence if it causes us to be prideful or self-righteous. What
keeps your heart from being a place where Jesus can find rest?
“I know that my Vindicator lives, and from my flesh I shall see God.”
(Jb 19: 21-27)
“I believe I will see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Ps
Both Job and the psalmist
have been through hard times, beset by enemies and, in Job’s case, extraordinary
loss. Neither abandons faith in God, the belief God will rescue them, not just
at the end of time, but in this life. What does rescue mean? In Job’s story, his
faith is acknowledged with possessions beyond what he had in the past, but the
real reward is the gift of seeing and understanding of the majesty of God. In
the Psalms, rescue is often depicted as victory in battle, but the actual gift
is an awareness of God’s abiding presence. Seeing the bounty of the Lord in this
life is not about material wealth or good health or power. It means we are
graced to recognize God’s majesty everywhere and in all things. Pray for this
“Behold, I am of
little account; what can I answer you?”
(Jb 38: 1, 12-21; 40:
The more I learn about
God and creation, the less I really know and the greater my faith. When I
abandon my need to have all the answers, to be as a god, the more like Christ I
can become. “Let the
peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in
(Phil 4: 7)
“Don’t rejoice because spirits are subject to you, but because your names are
written in heaven.” (Lk
This is a good
bookend for the week. On Sunday, we talked about the need for leaders to put
aside their egos and be glad to share the spirit and power God has given them.
The disciples have had a heady experience, driving out demons, curing the sick.
It would be easy for them to get cocky (and oh, BTW, we know they do!) but Jesus
tells them it’s not about them at all. It’s all about God working through them.
Perhaps the leaders of our own churches need to be reminded that true leaders in
God’s Kingdom are servants who inspire new servant leaders, not autocrats who
keep a stronghold on power and authority.
Ireland has a passion for working with parents and anyone who struggles to
maintain a sense of God’s love and peace amid the day-to-day challenges of life.
She has a master’s degree in Spiritual and Pastoral Care from the Pastoral
Counseling department at Loyola, Maryland, with a focus on developmental
psychology and spiritual guidance. Rooted in Ignatian spirituality, she is
a writer, retreat and workshop leader, and presenter on topics such as pastoral
parenting, “letting go,” and finding the spiritual in the midst of everyday
life. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland with her husband, Mark and children,
David and Maggie.
We hope you
enjoy "Come and See!"
and we welcome your input. Please contact Elaine Ireland at
with questions, comments, and responses.
© 2009 - 2018, Elaine H. Ireland - Images@FaithClipart.com