Blackbird...

A small but loving group joined me today for midday Eucharist. It was another careful step back
into community after my season of relative isolation in Montreal. We used the Wednesday morning prayer liturgy written by Fr. Ed Hays in Prayers for the Domestic Church to reconnect. I noted that on and off I have found solace in these words for over 35 years - and they seemed to resonate today as well.

Two texts shaped our lectio:  Psalm 131 and John 15: 

 O LORD, I am not proud; 
I have no haughty looks.
I do not occupy myself with great matters,
or with things that are too hard for me.
But I still my soul and make it quiet,
like a child upon its mother's breast;
my soul is quieted within me.
O Israel, wait upon the LORD,
from this time forth for evermore.

This was my sabbatical mantra and we talked about the chaos of our lives, the cruelty of so much in our politics, the complexity of so much dogma AND our call to return to the Lord's quiet and calm. It was a lively conversation that led naturally into the gospel.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you… As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

Another lively conversation took place that included an affirmation that the Hebrew scriptures are just as grounded in love as the Christian texts - and here the Johanine Jesus simply summarizes the essence of God's presence in history, time and space. Abide in my love that your joy may be full/complete. Then we gathered around the communion table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer, break and share bread and wine and embrace one another with the peace of Christ. I

There were other "tasks" to accomplish today - phone calls, follow up visits, prayers for the people - and it all felt fresh, grounded and real. Yesterday, while having a conversation with one of our young men committed to ministry, another dear brother (and one of this town's most incredible drummers who fills my soul with joy whenever we have the chance to play together) waved at me from the street on his way into the shop for morning coffee. We embraced, kissed, shared a few loving words - and then later in the day he sent me this stunning and reflective take on one of my favorite songs.

Now it is time to take Lucie for a walk and then make up some dinner.  I am so very blessed.

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