palm sunday 2018

Not much going on externally here today, but a ton is roiling around within: the present darkness within our cultural/political/spiritual chaos has been exposed by innocent and wounded youth. Yesterday's March for Our Lives interrupted our cynicism. Beyond the cruelty of the trolls and all the lies spewed by the shills for the NRA, our children showed us a better way. There are, of course, no guarantees. Niebuhr was clear that the children of darkness are usually better organized and more strategic than the children of light. Still, I hold fast to the light within the darkness. The late Henri Nouwen once wrote in his Sabbatical Journey:

We spend a lot of energy wondering who can be blamed for our own or other people's tragedies - our parents, ourselves, the immigrants, the Jews, the gays, the blacks, the fundamentalists, the Catholics.... But Jesus doesn't allow us to solve our own or other people's problems through blame. The challenge he poses is to discern in the midst of our darkness the light of God. In Jesus' vision everything, even the greatest tragedy, can become an occasion in which God's works can be revealed. How radically new my life would be if I were willing to move beyond blame to proclaiming the works of God.... All human beings have their tragedies.... We seldom have much control over them. But do we choose to live them as occasions to blame, or as occasions to see God at work?

It feels weird and a bit empty not to be in public worship this morning. I will likely slip into a late Eucharistic service this afternoon to ground myself in the rhythm of the saints. On Tuesday I head north to be with my friends at L'Arche Ottawa. My desert season of retirement holds more surprises in its early days than anyone could predict. Not sorrow, at least for me, something more akin to emptiness. And like Nouwen, I trust that even in my failings the fullness of grace beyond the emptiness and the darkness will arise. I already see the signs. The young people marching - 1 million strong in DC - hearts reaching across the great divides of race, class and gender.  To be sure, mine is a decidedly 21st century commitment to the Paschal Mystery for I trust that "everything, even the greatest tragedy, can become an occasion in which God's works can be revealed."

credits
+ Kai Althoff https://www.pinterest.com/pin/279645458088772153/



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