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Reflections shj 2 w-photo 2014-2


Into the Pot with Love

Have you tried a new recipe lately or been given someone else’s recent experiment? Chicken cooked in whole-berry cranberry sauce? Grilled peach slices for an exotic BLT? Roasted buffalo cauliflower? While you’re mulling . . . or savoring . . . consider the following:

In the clash of gastronomic cultures in the summer film, The Hundred-foot Journey, the secret of success in preparing the five basic French sauces is given: You must put love in the pot! Anything worth doing is worth doing with passionate investment. 

What is worth doing for you this September? Your daily duties? Your life’s work? Your call to discipleship? Something you’ve been planning or mulling over but have never gotten to? Maybe it is a new recipe. Maybe it is a steady practice of prayer. Maybe it is a letter of forgiveness or a call to re-connect. Maybe it is a determination to do your role with zeal, whether teaching or investing in uniting the family or bettering the world. It might even be harvesting your garden or, inevitably, raking the leaves.

Whatever your engagement, do it with zest and zeal: “spirited enjoyment” and “diligent devotion.” (Cf. Orlando Sentinel, 1987) “Whatever you do in word and in work, do all for the glory of God.”

Zacchaeus had zeal in climbing up the sycamore and hastening down to proffer his hospitality.
Mary of Bethany added zest to the concept of discipleship with perfumed foot-bathing.
Peter’s mother-in-law rose from her bed with zeal to preside at a meal with Jesus and friends.

Jesus’ desire to please God guided each one of his choices in healing, in traveling the countryside,
in accepting invitations, in eating meals with friends, in extending himself in healing, in preaching , in retreating, in accepting or disdaining acclaim, in inviting friends to closeness, in including saints and sinners alike, in embracing suffering for others out of love. Jesus was consumed with single-heartedness for the kingdom.  Zeal for Your Kingdom has eaten me up!

So the recipe for a successful day for the kingdom combines equal parts Zest and Zeal. Zest, the passion, the enduring love, motivating the heart’s choices. Zeal, the whole-hearted, whole-being commitment to do all this day for Christ. Savor every one of your moments: even performing mundane tasks; even relaxing in solitude and stillness, surely, engaging in your work as call or offering some simple service out of love. Every shared meal can be a "Babette’s feast.” Each day will be a gourmet day from the table of life.

What difference will this make? The world will be transformed.  Your actions in your world will be invaluable. Each day will be the day the Lord has made and you will be able to rejoice and be glad in it!

Dear Jesus,
may passionate commitment
and earnest intention
be the Zest and Zeal
in my daily life and work for You.
Live and work through me.
so that I accomplish all with love.

Reflections with Sister Helen Jean.