A Meditation on Matthew 8:5-11

I imagined saying to Jesus, “Healer, the men in Rome lie paralyzed and your church suffers greatly.”

And Jesus said, “I will come and heal my church.”

I responded, “Lord, they are not worthy to have you come within their ornate churches. For they have silenced, abused and excluded many. But I am a mother, Lord, like our Mother God, and I know what it is to be disappointed in your children and still love them. For myself, I would ask you to send a Sampson to bring it all down about their heads. But I know your Mother-love is wiser than my hate.”

Jesus answered, “Who then would you have me send?”

And I replied, “Lord, all around me I see strong women of deep faith. They cry out in your name but the men of Rome refuse to listen. Send them, Lord, to heal your church. For with you, Lord, with their faith in our Mother God, with their compassion for the abused and excluded, with their love for your church, with you, Lord, they can heal your church. Here they are, Lord, faithful and strong but silenced and hurting. Send them, Lord, and go with them.”

And Jesus replied, “I see them. I know them. On all the altars of all those ornate churches, in all the fine robes and raised golden cups, I do not see such faith, such strength and persistence. Like the widow before the unjust judge, they do not cease to cry out for justice. You need to understand, our Mother God and I have sent them, I am with them.”

“I tell you, many who were abused and silenced, many who were excluded and cast out, will sit with me at the banquet of our God with Sarah, Hagar and Keturah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, Miriam, Deborah and Ruth, with my mother Mary and Mary Magdala, with all my beloved women, with the abused and the ignored. And the men of Rome shall see the wisdom and the honor of women. And the men of Rome will weep and gnash their teeth and tear their fine vestments. Their eyes will be opened and they will see their folly.”

And Jesus said to me, “Until then, daughter, find comfort and strength in each other and in our Mother God.”

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Based on Revelation 1: 5-8

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead
and ruler of the sovereigns of the earth.
To him who loves us,
who showed us love’s conquering power over sin,
who has made us into a kingdom,
priests for our God who is Mother and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, God is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see God,
even those who pierced God’s heart
by abusing and silencing those God loves.
All the peoples of the earth will lament with God.
Yes. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says our Sovereign God,
“the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”

Based on Luke 19: 41-44

I prayed and I imagined that as Jesus drew near Rome, he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for justice– but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you when those you abused, those you cast out, those you silenced
will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your privileged within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of My visitation.
You refused to listen,
you refused to change,
you refused My grace,
preferring your own privilege.”

Adaptation of Titus 3:1-7

Here is how I have come to understand today’s reading from Titus 3:1-7

Beloved:
We are reminded to be wise in challenging the control of authorities,
whether civil or religious.
Ordinarily, we are called to be obedient,
but we are equally called to be open to every good enterprise.
When it is necessary to challenge authority,
then, as in all our dealings with others,
we must slander no one, be peaceable, considerate,
exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
We need to humbly remember that we ourselves
can be foolish, disobedient, deluded,
slaves to various desires and pleasures.
Let us do our best, prayerfully, to avoid living in malice and envy,
hateful ourselves and hating one another.

For by the kindness and generous love
of God our Mother, Father and Savior –
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of God’s mercy –
we are saved, reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit of Wisdom,
richly poured out on us
through our gracious saving God,
so that we are justified by God’s grace
and heirs to eternal life.

Adaptation of Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

How do I understand the second chapter of Titus? This was my meditation challenge from today’s reading. And I think I found the answer in these words of Paul’s to Titus, explaining that Paul’s purpose in writing was to guide them in how “to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age.” (Titus 2:12). And so, guided by Lady Wisdom, I dare to suggest what this might look like “in this age.”

Beloved:
This is consistent with sound doctrine:
that older men and women should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance,
reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good,
so that they may train younger men and women
to love their partners and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste,
Cooperating in making good homes,
under the control of their love for each other,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men and women, similarly, to control themselves.
Those who would teach them and guide them must
show themselves as models of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in their teaching, dignity, and sound speech
so that no opponent will have anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God,
who is our Father, Mother and Savior,
who delivered us from all lawlessness
so that we may be God’s own people,
eager to do what is good.

Based on Titus 1:1-9

This morning, as I meditated on the first nine verses of Paul’s letter to Titus, I imagined what I might write, were Lady Wisdom gracious enough to bless my humble service:

We, free women of God, our Lady Wisdom, and sisters of Jesus Christ
For the sake of the faith of God’s ignored ones
For the recognition of Her eternal truth
In the hope of Her eternal love –
The love that God, our gracious Lady Wisdom who is always truthful, promised before time began
Who through all time reveals Her word, though it be not spoken or written
In the proclamation of which, lately, we women are entrusted
By the command of God, our Wisdom and our Savior
To all our sisters and brothers of faith
Grace and peace from God our Mother and Jesus Christ our brother.

For this reason we are hearing the words of our Mother
Wherever we are, wherever we worship
So that we might set right what needs to be corrected.

Those who serve our needs of faith
Those who worship with us
Need not be blameless
Need not be married only once
Need not have perfect children
Need not be men
But, to serve as Lady Wisdom’s stewards
Must not be arrogant
Nor overly irritable
Nor abusers of themselves or others
Nor aggressive
Nor greedy for their own gain and pleasure
Those who serve as stewards for our Lady Wisdom
Must be hospitable, lovers of goodness, temperate
Striving always for justice, for holiness, for self-control
And must try, to the best of their ability
To hold fast to the true message
Though it has become more ignored than taught
So that they will be able to see themselves clearly,
To admonish others charitably and truthfully,
And to rebuke and reject narrow-minded arrogance
In interpreting the word of Wisdom.

Based on Luke 14: 15-24

Praying, I imagined myself dining with Jesus and I heard him say:
“Some will say,
‘Blessed is the one who consecrated the bread and wine in the Kingdom of God.’
But I tell you this:
God gave a great dinner to which She invited many.
But some priestly men stole many of the invitations
And secretly gave them to other men, only men,
whom they judged more worthy to be invited.
When the time for the dinner came,
God dispatched Her angel to say to those invited,
‘Come, everything is now ready.’
But one by one, the priestly men began to excuse themselves.
The first said to the messenger,
‘I have to hear confession and stay to free people from their sins;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have to raise money to build a better church so people can come watch me worship God;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have to say Mass to bring God to the people, and therefore I cannot come.’
And each woman said, ‘I did not receive my invitation,
But I would love to come.’
The angel went and reported this to God.
Then God in a rage commanded Her messenger,
‘Go out quickly into all the world
and bring in here the abused and the outcast, the ignored and the silenced.’
The angel reported, ‘Madam, your orders have been carried out and still there is room.’
God then ordered the messenger,
‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and invite everyone to come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those pompous priestly men who were invited will taste my dinner.'”