All posts by Peggy Epley

Everyday Stewardship ~ Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

How to Fail Your Way to Heaven

You know what are some of my favorite moments in Scripture? The little “Easter eggs” of Jesus’ humanity, things like Jesus falling asleep, Jesus drawing in the sand, Jesus playing with kids. And how about Jesus rising from the dead, appearing to his disciples and saying, “So, have you got anything to eat?”

It’s right for us to always keep in mind that Jesus is God. But we also have to remember that he was man. He got hungry. He cried when he felt sad and laughed when he felt happy. He got tired. He got bored.

Because he was God, none of those feelings ever led him into sin, like they do us. He never spent a car ride trying to pass the hours by seeing how annoyed he could make his older sister. He never smacked Peter over the head for saying something really stupid. But he did unleash some Biblically righteous anger on those traders in the temple, didn’t he? And he wasn’t shy about calling Peter “a Satan” when his friend tempted him to take the easy way out.

It’s the tightrope walk we all try to balance every day, honoring our human emotions while still answering God’s call to be better. Being perfect isn’t the domain of the Christian — that’s the domain of Christ only. Trying and failing, then trying again (and failing again) and again and again? That’s the domain of the Christian.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

©LPi

LA CORRESPONSABILIDAD DIARIA ~ RECONOCER A DIOS EN LOS MOMENTOS ORDINARIOS (Everyday Stewardship)

Cómo Fallar En Tu Camino al Cielo

¿Sabes cuáles son algunos de mis momentos favoritos en las Escrituras? Los pequeños “huevos de Pascua” de la humanidad de Jesús, cosas como Jesús durmiendo, Jesús dibujando en la arena, Jesús jugando con niños. ¿Y qué hay de Jesús resucitando de entre los muertos, apareciendo a sus discípulos y diciendo: “Entonces, ¿tienen algo de comer?”

Es correcto que tengamos siempre presente que Jesús es Dios. Pero también tenemos que recordar que Él era un hombre. Le dio hambre. Lloraba cuando se sentía triste y reía cuando se sentía feliz. Se cansó. Se aburrió.

Debido a que Él era Dios, ninguno de esos sentimientos lo llevó a pecar, como a nosotros. Nunca pasó un viaje en auto tratando de pasar las horas viendo cuanto podía hacer molestar a su hermana mayor. Nunca golpeó a Pedro en la cabeza por decir algo realmente estúpido. Pero él desató un poco de ira bíblicamente justa sobre esos comerciantes en el templo, ¿no es así? Y no tuvo reparos en llamar a Pedro “un satanás” cuando su amigo lo tentó a tomar el camino más fácil.

Es la caminata por la cuerda floja que todos tratamos de equilibrar todos los días, honrando nuestras emociones humanas mientras seguimos respondiendo al llamado de Dios para ser mejores. Ser perfecto no es el dominio del cristiano, ese es el dominio únicamente de Cristo. ¿Intentar y fallar, luego intentarlo de nuevo (y fallar nuevamente) una y otra vez? Ese es el dominio del cristiano.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

©LPi

Live the Liturgy ~ Inspiration for the Week

When the greeting “Peace be with you” is sincerely offered to a person, it can resonate very deep within, bringing comfort and reassurance. When someone possesses the power to bring peace, it brings us to a place of safety and fills us with joy. The resurrected Christ has this power. God can open our minds so that we can more fully understand the meaning of Sacred Scripture and God’s compassionate, loving, tender, and untiring embrace constantly present and offered to people throughout history. Without the anchor of truth that only God can provide, we can easily become startled and terrified at the sight of what life brings us. Being open to God’s offer of peace, we can turn away from old habits and short-sighted vision and experience the gladness and joy of God’s gift. Only then can what is wounded and broken be mended and reconciliation achieved. We are the resurrection witnesses called to proclaim the Good News.

©LPi

VIVIR LA LITURGIA ~ INSPIRACIÓN DE LA SEMANA (Live the Liturgy)

Cuando el saludo “La paz sea contigo” se ofrece sinceramente a una persona, puede resonar muy profundamente en el interior, brindando consuelo y tranquilidad. Cuando alguien posee el poder de traer paz, nos lleva a un lugar seguro y nos llena de alegría. El Cristo resucitado tiene este poder. Dios puede abrir nuestra mente para que comprendamos más plenamente el significado de la Sagrada Escritura y el abrazo compasivo, amoroso, tierno e incansable de Dios, constantemente presente y ofrecido a los hombres a lo largo de la historia. Sin el ancla de la verdad que solo Dios puede proporcionar, fácilmente podemos asustarnos y aterrorizarnos al ver lo que la vida nos trae. Al estar abiertos a la oferta de paz de Dios, podemos alejarnos de los viejos hábitos y la visión miope y experimentar la alegría y el gozo del don de Dios. Sólo entonces se podrá reparar lo que está herido y roto y se podrá lograr la reconciliación. Somos los testigos de la resurrección llamados a anunciar la Buena Nueva.

©LPi

Gospel Meditation

April 18, 2021
Third Sunday of Easter

We often act out of ignorance. Armed with the best of intentions, we think we are seeing clearly and correctly, but we are not. We don’t always understand the full meaning of things and only perceive part of the truth. Hence, our judgments and actions can be impaired by myopic, incomplete or erroneous perceptions. The meaning of life, understanding of human experience, and negotiating life’s challenges can all become skewed without proper understanding and vision. The resurrection of Christ is the corrective to our incomplete and limited view of life. Looking at things with the eyes of faith brings a depth of clarity and understanding to how we see God, ourselves, others, and the world.

Even the disciples struggled with their limited understanding and ignorant perceptions. It was only when Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures that their eyes were opened. It was their “aha” moment when everything clicked. We all want the substance of our lives to come together, make sense, and have meaning. This is easier to achieve when things are going positively and life is good. It is when suffering, disappointment, death, hardship, and injustice enter the picture that things can become unsettled and disoriented. Our faith in the goodness and love of God is tested. We tend to shift our focus on these difficult and challenging moments and do not see them within the greater picture of how God intends life to unfold. We can gain, from the passion and resurrection of Christ, the clear vision we need in order to move away from ignorance to enlightenment.

We need our “aha” moment when everything comes together and clicks. It can come in a fleeting instant when we feel totally connected with God, where we find ourselves, others and all of creation. It is a moment when all is right and good, regardless of how difficult our journey. Our “aha” moment assures us that God is here, right with us, in us and around us bringing us a gift and blessing we can receive nowhere else: peace. In those brief sacramental encounters when we are lifted up out of ourselves and centered, we can hear God say, “peace be with you,” and we feel secure. It’s all okay. The resurrected Christ has the power to bring this gift to us.  Some people, as they are facing their deaths, remark about this peace. When looking into the window of eternity, they experience a depth of joy and are amazed at God’s goodness and closeness. We are called to be witnesses to this Good News.

©LPi

MEDITACIÓN EVANGÉLICO (Gospel Meditation)

18 de abril de 2021
3er Domingo de Pascua

Ser testigos del Evangelio es el pedido de Jesús en este tercer Domingo de Pascua. ¿Qué significa esto? ¿Cómo hacerlo? De hecho, no es sencillo este pedido, ya que implica la propia vida de cada persona. Por esa razón los apóstoles al ver a Jesús, quedaron atónitos y asustados. Comprometerse con el Evangelio asusta, e implica un cambio radical del modo de vivir y de comportarse. Para lograr esto, el Señor insiste al presentarse ante ellos y darles el saludo de paz. Ya lo decíamos en el domingo anterior, la paz de Cristo quita cualquier susto y miedo. ¿Has experimentado esa paz? ¿Qué sentimientos afloran en tu corazón al tenerla?

El Papa Francisco insiste en: “Ser testigos de Cristo donde estamos, con una nueva vida transformada por su amor”. (Angelus 6-1-2020). Continúa diciendo el Papa: “La experiencia de Dios no nos bloquea, sino que nos libera; no nos aprisiona, sino que nos pone de nuevo en el camino, nos devuelve a los lugares habituales de nuestra existencia. Los lugares son y serán los mismos, pero nosotros, después del encuentro con Jesús, no somos los mismos de antes. El encuentro con Jesús nos cambia, nos transforma. Toda experiencia del encuentro con Jesús nos induce a emprender caminos diferentes, porque de Él proviene una buena fuerza que sana el corazón y nos separa del mal”. Esto es ser testigo de la Resurrección. Que, de discípulos asustados, seamos discípulos alegres y generosos en cualquier lugar y circunstancia, como nos lo indica el Papa Francisco.

©LPi

Hope for the Resurrection of Our Bodies

For Sunday, April 18, 2021
Third Sunday of Easter

Blessed

Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
1 John 2:1-5a
Luke 24:35-48

In this last year we’ve all been reminded of our mortality countless times as we’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic sweep over the world. But as part of the Body of Christ, there is a hope that awaits our mortal bodies, and to see it, we need look no further than this Sunday’s readings!

“The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses!” The promise of Christ proclaimed by Peter is not only good news for us in the present moment — the redemption from sin — but good news for us for eternity, too. As Catholics, our theology of the end is very specific. While our bodies and souls separate at death, we do not continue on as glowing, disembodied spirits for all of time. The resurrection of Christ foretells our own destiny — the resurrection of the body.

The Apostles lived in a world where, to paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, life was often “nasty, brutish, and short.” Among the powerful and privileged, the highest priority was bringing glory to the family name and producing enough strong offspring to continue the line. The rich could hire alchemists and magicians in the quest for immortality and eternal youth. Without modern medicine, any injury could be potentially life threatening and every illness suspected to take a severe turn for the worse. When Jesus hung upon the Cross that Good Friday, even the most hopeful among them had no reason to suspect that — once he was taken down — there would be any more to the story.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Jesus emphasizes what he does when he appears to the Apostles. “‘Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see … they gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.” Jesus’ return is no ghostly apparition. He has not emerged from the tomb as a luminous being, pure spirit shed of its earthly shell. Jesus is still Jesus. He is still fully God and fully man. When Jesus conquers death, he does so as a human being in his very flesh and blood. Not only that, but he is a human being who still bears the scars of inflicted violence.

In the face of suffering, the thought of sloughing off our mortal coil may feel all too promising. Yet, by his resurrection, Jesus reinforces our bodiliness. He doesn’t negate it. Jesus redeems us through the offering of his life and the gift of his body. Through his example, we see that our bodies have moral potential. We act out our sin or sanctity, our vice or virtue, through our bodies. In the second reading, John speaks of just that. “He is expiation for our sins … the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.” In other words, while the grace of God is living and effective in our life, our choices matter. And we enact those choices in and through our bodies. Our hands extend an offering to the poor. Our feet operate the gas pedal in our car to move us to church on Sunday. Our brains process the decision to obey God or to deny Him.

Our bodies matter. Life matters! Christianity is not a denial of the material world but a participation in its sanctification. This Third Sunday of Easter, be aware of the choices you make in and through your body. How do you reveal your love to your friends? What decisions do you make about the food and drink you consume and offer to others? To whom do you offer them? When you look at your own wounds — physical and emotional — how do they affect the way you see the world and interact with those around you? Remember, we worship a resurrected God. We are disciples of a resurrected Savior. “Of this we are witnesses.” Will we choose a life for all the world to see?

Anna Carter