Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone." (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

As women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande we work to live out this promise in retreat, fellowship, study, and ministry.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lent III, March 4: God’s Passion Strengthens Us (Dale Plummer+)

In our asking for God’s blessings upon the “gifts and creatures of bread and wine,” we are immediately united into the remembrance of Christ’s “blessed passion and precious death.” Our liturgy uses these words “passion” and “precious” to describe such a horrific torturous event. The strength to endure such torture must be beyond our own ability, but for God, God’s passion and strength is everlasting love and hope of a precious relationship with creation. God’s display of love and hope of preciousness seems to be beyond our total acceptance. For we so quickly return to our worldly presence just as swiftly as we entered into remembrance of Christ. 
In this third week of Lent, God’s strength and passion is presented to the Israelites in legalistic means found in the Exodus reading of the Ten Commandments. Here God’s relationship with humanity is demonstrated through laws of order to establish a right relationship. When the order is broken God’s response is explained in terms of wrath and anger. The question I ask, Is this the result of humanity making laws into idols, and our blindness to God’s passion and precious strength is interpreted as wrath and anger, and freedom from slavery and idolatry is too risky.
In my own journey, I am aware of my own passions by the words I use and the tone of my voice. I am also aware that the same words and tone also display anger. Passion and anger must have similar interior origins, so how do we concede the difference between passion and anger? The only response I have for certain is, “I know it, because I feel it.”
In John’s Gospel this week we reflect upon the story of Jesus encounter in the temple which has been transformed into a marketplace and taken over by money changers. As we visualize this encounter we hear Jesus order all these things to be removed as he goes about overturning tables and scattering the coins of the money changers. Hearing this encounter, do we rush to a conclusion that this is a display of Jesus’ anger rather than a witnessing Jesus’ passion that his Father’s house is to be a house of prayer and not a marketplace, and ultimately, the temple we seek is the temple of the risen Christ, for whom we “await his coming in glory.”

Activities and Prayer for this Week

He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40: 29-31 )

God promises that ‘those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength’.
  • Discuss the points of interest to you, and your group.
  • Each ministry strengthens the total ministry of the diocese. Consider how God empowers your ministry, both individually and corporately, for the upbuilding of the Diocese of the Rio Grande.
  • Send a note or card to another parish in the diocese recognizing one of their important ministries.
Pray for the Diocese using the list of churches on the diocesan website,
or the list of diocesan ministries.
Prayer: Holy God, we lift up to you all the churches and ministries in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Strengthen them so that they may not grow faint or weary in their work for your glory. We name especially (name the churches or ministries of the Diocese). In the Name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Share: Comment on this post on the website or Facebook toshare parish ministries you, or your group, identified as important.

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