Art for the Heart

This is "Art for the Heart". Each Sunday we create + share a new lock screen for your smart phone or tablet featuring a thought for the week. We access our devices constantly - so that means this is a great way to constantly see God's inspiration & love. 

We encourage you to share it with your family & friends on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest too! 

Don't forget to use #HOMWF when sharing Heart of Mary with others :)

Image by Alba Valdes

Image by Alba Valdes

The Jesse Tree // Jesus is the Key of David

Image by Unsplash.com

Image by Unsplash.com

Isaiah 22:22 Matthew 16:19

When I was a kid and thought about Jesus, I always imagined Him as this cuddly and friendly guy with long hair in a white robe. And while it’s true that Jesus is our friend, that he cares for us deeply, He is much much more than that. I find that, too often, we want to focus only on the easy comforting parts of Christ and ignore more difficult aspects. One of these aspects is Christ’s authority. 

In Isaiah 22:22 the prophet writes of the Messiah, "Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open.” 

This may not seem challenging on the surface, it may seem even a little strange. The key of David represents the authority of Christ. He is a King in the line of David his authority comes before all other authorities in our lives. 

I am often comforted by the idea that what Jesus opens no one can shut, but sometimes I don’t like to think about the other side of the coin; that what he shuts no one will open. If you are like me, I’m sure there is something that you desperately wanted, a job, a move, a baby, a spouse, and maybe that thing didn’t happen. Maybe it wasn’t in Christ’s will for you. Maybe that was a path that he shut. These things are sometimes hard to accept. If Jesus is our friend, why wouldn’t he give us our heart’s desires? Maybe it is because he is also our authority. He sees who we are, who we can be, and our lives in a way our earthly friends cannot. He alone knows what we truly need to be made holy, and he will open that path too us. 

As Catholics, we are fortunate that Jesus also left us a visible authority on Earth, the Church. In Matthew 16:19 we read that Christ passes on His authority to Peter. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." How fortunate we are to not be left to our own guessing game! How loving of our Lord to build us a Church to guide us in our darkest times and to help us interpret some of the most confusing questions of our age. 

So as we wait for the arrival of Jesus this Christmas, let us not forget that the cuddly cute baby in a manger is more than just that, He is the one who we should allow to rule over our lives, for He is kind and just and will never lead us astray.

Reflect: What is something that you are holding back from giving Christ authority over? (finances, career, family planning, love life, etc.)
How is Christ different from the authority figures in our earthly life? 

Act: Spend some time in prayer today and give Christ authority over something in your life that you have difficulty giving over to Him.

Image by thesaintsproject.org

Art for the Heart

This is "Art for the Heart". Each Sunday we create + share a new lock screen for your smart phone or tablet featuring a thought for the week. We access our devices constantly - so that means this is a great way to constantly see God's inspiration & love. 

We encourage you to share it with your family & friends on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest too! 

Don't forget to use #HOMWF when sharing Heart of Mary with others :)

Image by Alba Valdes

The Jesse Tree // Joseph

Ask anyone in my family to describe me and I bet the word “quiet” wouldn’t pop up, except as a joke. I’ve always been loud, freely shared my thoughts and opinions, and been quick to complain to others if I feel I’ve been wronged. 

The Jesse Tree // David

Image by Unsplash.com

Image by Unsplash.com

1 Samuel 17:12-51 Ephesians 6:13-17

It’s an underdog story that’s as old as time. A young shepherd faces off against a powerful giant. And against all odds, he slings a rock at the giant and takes him down. What intrigues me about David and Goliath isn’t that David chose to fight against Goliath, but that he chose to do so without wearing any armor. King Saul offers David the use of his armor, but David refuses. 

Learning how to fight without armor was a central theme in an episode of Legends of Tomorrow, a show about time traveling outcasts and misfits who protect history from those who try to change it. In the episode “Shogun,” Ray Palmer AKA The Atom, loses his superpowered suit of armor when he gets taken prisoner by a Japanese warlord, also known as a shogun. (It’s a time travel show. Just go with it.) Ray and the other Legends escape from the warlord’s manor and take refuge at the house of a peasant family. The head of the family, Ichiro Yamashiro, teaches Ray how to fight with his late son’s armor. Ray eventually faces off against the shogun, who is wearing Ray’s ATOM suit as his armor. In this 

battle, Ray tells the shogun, “An armor is only as good as the man who wears it.” With the help of his friends, Ray is able to defeat the shogun.
“An armor is only as good as the man who wears it.” I think this applies to David as he chose to make his faith in God his “armor.” And as Christians, we can take inspiration from David and do the same. How? This quote from Ephesians has the answer: 

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” 

If the armor is only as good as the one who wears it, we need to be able to use these gifts wisely. You might feel intimidated at this idea: being worthy of wearing the armor of God. Except none of us are perfect. God’s grace can help us use the armor of God in our lives. By taking on this armor, we can train in becoming God’s warriors. 

Joshua 1:9 says "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." David had the courage to put on the armor of God in spite of the giant standing in front of him. In a similar way, we need courage during Advent. It takes courage to face the darkness, to deal with uncertainty, and to prepare for the coming of Christ. I pray that whatever giants you 

have to face against, you may have the courage to do the same.-Monique
Reflect: What are some “giants” in your life that you need to face off against? Reflect on a 

time in your life when you had to put on the armor of Christ.
Act: Take some time to read the passage from Ephesians. Ask God for courage. 

Image by thesaintsproject.org

Image by thesaintsproject.org

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