Sacred Spaces of Transformation

Sacred Spaces of Transformation

Saturday, December 31, 2016


Jude and I have a father and son activity that we have enjoyed since he was a toddler - fishing.  Part of our fishing tradition is to eat breakfast at an old truck stop cafe on our way to the lake.  It is a classic, western, cafe.  We sat in the vinyl-backed chairs, ordered coffee, breakfast and talked about the fish we were going to catch.

I took a moment to look around the cafe and began to notice the people around me.  A young Hispanic woman was cutting the food for her five-year-old daughter.  They sat together, and the mother had a tired look in her eyes, yet she looked at her daughter with pure love.  Directly behind us was a family of 12 smiling, laughing, and pointing at the menu.  One son wore a t-shirt from a local synagogue, and the other wore a Santa's hat. 

Next to our table a Native American family of 7 was talking.  They had that graceful presence found in native people.  One of their grandchildren was running around the table poking his small finger into the back of his grandfather and laughing.  The grandmother wore her hair in the classic style.  She warmed the coffee cup with her slender hands and smiled a soft smile.  

Off in the other room, a bunch of old Anglo cowboys slapping one another on the back.  One was attempting to text on his phone, and another was scratching his head while studying the eggs on his plate.  All of them trying to tell bad jokes to the waitress.  The waitress was slinging coffee around.  She was in her 70’s and had dyed her hair a bright orange.  

I sat in this old cafe surrounded by people of all races and colors.   All of them are miraculous and stunning. All extraordinary children of God and they are my brothers and sisters.  My beautiful family in God and we are connected.  

I pointed this out to Jude, and he looked around, and we both sat in silence for a few moments and smiled.  As we begin this new year, let us look upon one another as beautiful, magnificent family members.   We are brothers and sisters who are blessed to share this place called earth for a short time.  Let us pray to embody this in our hearts and lives.  We need one another and let us seek to connect with one another.   

You are in my prayers as we end this year and begin a hopeful year in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Feast Of Holy Innocents

The feast of the Holy Innocents,

Today in our liturgical calendar, we hold in our heart the feast of the Holy Innocents.  The children who are put to death by the ego, greed, fear, and cruelty of King Herod.  He wanted to get rid of Jesus from his life.  Mothers were wailing, fathers were distraught, and a community was devastated.

In our prayers of reflection, let us remember the Holy Innocents of our community.  Those children who are being destroyed because of hunger, violence, bullying, societal pressure, poverty, drugs, neglect, abuse, and those acts of cruelty inflicted by society.  We can either lament or carry Jesus into what I call “sacred spaces of transformation.”

In the next year, and the years to come, we shall have a voice in the community.  Our sacred spaces of transformation will be carrying the love of Christ into those places where our community is being destroyed.  In those sacred spaces of transformation, we can change lives in His name.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Another tragedy

50 people killed and more than 50 wounded.  This story transcends tragedy.  Our minds cannot seem to rationalize or make sense of the horrific violence.  It prompts outrage, shock, and despair.  It's hard to find the Kingdom of God today.  Do we live in a world filled with such hate?  

To paraphrase the words:  “If hate such as this is accepted, then love has no place in the world. It may be so; it may be so. But I don't have the strength to live in a world like that.” It may be so; it may be so. I do not want it to be so. I pray that it is not so.  Beautiful lives ripped from our arms in Orlando Florida.  

We cannot keep silent.  We cannot accept this as normal. We must not give life to the darkness of hate, marginalization, violence, political rhetoric and discrimination.  We cannot be enraged for the moment, today, or the next week.  We cannot sit silently until the next mass murder.   We discussed the necessity of assault rifles after children were murdered at Sandy Hook and nothing changed.  We argue over the senselessness of violence and lives are taken on the streets of Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Washington DC and Chicago.  Brothers and sisters brutalized daily, and we deliberate whether hate and discrimination exists. 

Through our tears, pain, bewilderment and sadness we must envision something new.  It has to begin today, and it must start with us.   I believe in the goodness of humanity. We have seen it time and time again.   Hopeful people whose lives express a deep and abiding love for all creation. A world where forgiveness is stronger than revenge, where empathy abounds over hate, acceptance mightier than exclusion and that the light of love and life is shining brighter than the darkness of hate and death.  

We must find our voice.  It must begin in our churches and we must take it to the powerful. We can make a difference.   It is the only path we have in a world that has a tendency to slip into the darkness.  May we all believe in the transformative power of hope, peace, goodness and love.  May we bring the healing and love of Jesus Christ to this world. This is the world we envision. May it be so, may it be so.  I pray for those affected by today.  May the Lord hold us close. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My Everything

I was blessed to be the homilist at the diaconal ordinations this past Saturday.  A friend who is on Facebook asked that I post the portion of the homily that spoke to his journey.  Steven, this is for you: 

Eventually the power seeking apostles moved beyond prominence, status, titles and power. They finally understood the only thing that could change the world was Christ. I am going say something disturbing in this day and age.  Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Jesus is not a concept, theory, great teacher, guidepost or spiritual guru. Jesus Christ is Lord, King, Savior and Son of God. 

Thus, You will not be the savior of the world.  Only Jesus is the savior and you are called to serve.   Preach Jesus, Baptize in his name, live with him on your lips and in your hearts.  Let the love of God live and grow inside you. lf a person doubts, encourage their questions and seeking.  You may be the only face of Christ they meet.   Be an exploring companion.  Today is a great gift, your call has been answered.   You are now made new.