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February 16

This Pink Shirt Day we recognize that our diversity is becoming more visible than ever as people continue to embrace their cultures, identities, and selves in more open and direct ways; making the need to lift each other up and have greater acceptance, respect, and inclusion for everyone, so important. God loves everyone – period.

In Mark's Gospel we hear (Mark 8:14-21):

 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, 'Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.' They said to one another, 'It is because we have no bread.' And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, 'Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?' They said to him, 'Twelve.' 'And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?' And they said to him, 'Seven.' Then he said to them, 'Do you not yet understand?'

Jesus reminds us of a connection we have to him and one another. I can imagine that Jesus may have a done a massive face palm here! – The disciples see but do not understand what Jesus is doing and even more so, who Jesus is! They cannot yet understand God's over flowing love for all perhaps because they are still growing in understanding what it means to love as Jesus asks. It happens.

How often do we look but not see or understand what is going in our lives?  Take some time to slow down today and reflect on the things in your life that prevent you from seeing who people really are – including God.  We sometimes wear a kind of spiritual sun-glasses that only let us see what we want to see and not what really is – things that colour our lenses include: love, kindness, positivity, forgiveness, prejudices, pride, selfishness, narcissism, greed, racism, homophobia, intolerances of all kinds. This list could go on, but you get what I mean.

Pray for a deeper and more inclusive vision of Jesus, others, our world, and ourselves.

This will take a lifetime so: Lord, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change;

courage to change the things we can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Hand in hand with all the children of God we enter our day in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen!