This page has moved to a new address.

Life Together: The Diomass Intern Program

body { background:#fff; margin:0; padding:40px 20px; font:x-small Georgia,Serif; text-align:center; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } a:link { color:#58a; text-decoration:none; } a:visited { color:#969; text-decoration:none; } a:hover { color:#c60; text-decoration:underline; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { width:660px; margin:0 auto 10px; border:1px solid #ccc; } } @media handheld { #header { width:90%; } } #blog-title { margin:5px 5px 0; padding:20px 20px .25em; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:1px 1px 0; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; font-weight:normal; color:#666; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; } #blog-title a { color:#666; text-decoration:none; } #blog-title a:hover { color:#c60; } #description { margin:0 5px 5px; padding:0 20px 20px; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:0 1px 1px; max-width:700px; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Content ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #content { width:660px; margin:0 auto; padding:0; text-align:left; } #main { width:410px; float:left; } #sidebar { width:220px; float:right; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Headings ----------------------------------------------- */ h2 { margin:1.5em 0 .75em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .date-header { margin:1.5em 0 .5em; } .post { margin:.5em 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } } @media handheld { .date-header { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } .post { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } } .post-title { margin:.25em 0 0; padding:0 0 4px; font-size:140%; font-weight:normal; line-height:1.4em; color:#c60; } .post-title a, .post-title a:visited, .post-title strong { display:block; text-decoration:none; color:#c60; font-weight:normal; } .post-title strong, .post-title a:hover { color:#333; } .post div { margin:0 0 .75em; line-height:1.6em; } { margin:-.25em 0 0; color:#ccc; } .post-footer em, .comment-link { font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .post-footer em { font-style:normal; color:#999; margin-right:.6em; } .comment-link { margin-left:.6em; } .post img { padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; } .post blockquote { margin:1em 20px; } .post blockquote p { margin:.75em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments h4 { margin:1em 0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } #comments h4 strong { font-size:130%; } #comments-block { margin:1em 0 1.5em; line-height:1.6em; } #comments-block dt { margin:.5em 0; } #comments-block dd { margin:.25em 0 0; } #comments-block dd.comment-timestamp { margin:-.25em 0 2em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } #comments-block dd p { margin:0 0 .75em; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Sidebar Content ----------------------------------------------- */ #sidebar ul { margin:0 0 1.5em; padding:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; list-style:none; } #sidebar li { margin:0; padding:0 0 .25em 15px; text-indent:-15px; line-height:1.5em; } #sidebar p { color:#666; line-height:1.5em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ #profile-container { margin:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } .profile-datablock { margin:.5em 0 .5em; } .profile-img { display:inline; } .profile-img img { float:left; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; margin:0 8px 3px 0; } .profile-data { margin:0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .profile-data strong { display:none; } .profile-textblock { margin:0 0 .5em; } .profile-link { margin:0; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { width:660px; clear:both; margin:0 auto; } #footer hr { display:none; } #footer p { margin:0; padding-top:15px; font:78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { }

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Spiritual Practice of Trust

By Kelsey Rice Bogdan

Last week I read an article in the Boston Phoenix about cycles of youth violence, and why they are so hard to break. In “Dead Kids”, author David S. Bernstein writes that youth who would not participate in violence under normal circumstances are drawn toward it in violent neighborhoods, out of a need to protect one’s self. The result is a dynamic “where the fear of violence ironically pushes adolescent boys to copy the same behaviors, and end up on the same paths, as those before them.”  

This article especially hit home to me because of the impact two recent local shootings, that of 14-year-old Nicholas Fomby-Davis and 27-year-old Cory Johnson, have had on my communities. Fomby-Davis was a student at Dearborn Middle School, where Trinity Church has been organizing to turn the school around. I had assisted Johnson’s aunt as a lay worship leader only a few months ago when she preached at my Presbyterian church in Brookline. What struck me about the Phoenix article, in the context of these murders, was the fundamental role fear and mistrust plays in the ongoing violence.  

Fear is in many ways fundamental to the human condition. I don’t talk about certain things with certain people because I fear rejection. Our country doesn’t have honest discussion about energy policy, immigration policy, or pretty much any policy these days, because we fear change and loss. And in some parts of our city, people kill because they fear being killed. And all of this fear affects each one of us. Slowly, bit by bit, the fear poisons us. 

If I asked you to name the antidote to fear, you might respond with “hope.” But how do we live out hope? As our Hope in Action site here at Trinity Church stands poised to launch our college coaching program next week at Pathway Technology Campus in Villa Victoria, I find myself increasingly reflecting on the spiritual practice of trust as an expression of hope. If fear is born out of a basic level of mistrust, then trust becomes the ultimate counter to fear. Where mistrust leads toward dysfunction, the choice to trust opens us up to the interdependent life God intends for humanity. 

I’ve been learning a lot about trust in my own life during the past few weeks. As I transition out of my position as a Relational Evangelist, I also prepare our Hope in Action community to carry on our work  without me. I went on a short vacation a few weeks ago. The day before my return to the office, I realized with a sense of panic that I hadn’t done any work while I was gone. I had left all the work for others to do, leaving myself with no control over the process. And yes, I was afraid that nothing had happened. 

And what did I find when I got back? Tara and Christopher had matched up our volunteers to students who needed their help in Villa Victoria. Laura had already planned out the next meeting agenda. Eric had made plans and requested volunteers for our kickoff event. The team had come together to do what needed to be done. And I heard a call to trust more fully in our community. 

My impending departure from Trinity Hope in Action has made me realize more than ever that no matter how self-sufficient I am, I need a lot of help to accomplish the justice work that needs to be done. If I try to carry this whole project myself because someone else might not do it right, or not do it at all, then my mistrust limits the scope and impact of what we’re able to do.  

As I practice trust, amazing things happen at Trinity. Last week we held two training sessions for our new coaches, which were well-attended and well-facilitated by Hope in Action volunteers. Next week, we will hold the first of two thousand coaching hours with adult learners. These sessions will increase Pathway Technology Campus’ capacity, allowing it to offer tutoring and life coaching services to adults, where they have never before been available consistently. This development is happening through the hard work of a team that trusts and supports one another to get the job done. 

Admittedly, these are baby steps—they aren’t going to end youth violence immediately. But they witness to the way we’re supposed to live in relationship to our neighbors, ultimately turning the tide. Trusting can be difficult, and we shouldn’t naïvely do so. But in a world where our need to control destroys us, where our fear of one another kills innocent people in the street, it is time to cultivate the practice of relying on one another. Not only can it teach us more about how to live with one another in peace, but it can help us more fully lean into our fundamental dependence on a loving God.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weekend of Service, Culture

This post was contributed by Diomass Intern Waetie Kumahia. 
It was during Lent this year that I our entire group of Life Together fellows gathered to meditate and discuss what we would be giving up and taking on for Lent. One of the things that I decided to do was to restore my long lost habit of reading a blog called It is written for “Thinking Women of Faith” by the author, professor, and all around inspirational leader, Rev. Renita Weems. I think of her as a virtual friend in my head - someone whose opinions, expertise, and judgment reveal light on both the word of God and everyday current events. I discovered Rev. Weems on a search for integration of myself as a middle-class, first-generation, African-American woman. In searching to connect with a community of other women who follow Jesus, I sought to see what it looks like to bring all of ourselves and experiences into our reading of the Bible. Weems’ commentary has helped to challenge my consumerism, question the Black churches of America, and ultimately, expand my understanding of what a modern-day Christianity might look like in being lived. Commentary from her very astute readership on everything from world politics, and relationships, has allowed me to become enveloped into a circle of wisdom.

Perhaps one of the most important things I have learned from being a part of this blogging community is that for all of its social protection, and support for the African- American community, even those church communities have not been able to create anything like the perfect shelter that I imagined as a child. While for many years, I mourned the fact that my family and I were a part of a community where we were one of few families of color, the benefits of what I learned from this exposure would become evident later in life.

But, as a child of African immigrants whose culture already set us apart from African Americans, I imagined that a Black church would have made me more familiar with all of the various expectations and cultural codes that I always seemed to miss. Reading Renita’s work helped me to appreciate that each community has its own peculiar strengths and growing edges.

In college, I was amused and flattered by the many who mistook me as being from the Caribbean. There were a series of other events which fueled my curiosity interest in learning more about my people, the African people of the diaspora. My ensuing discovery of African interconnectedness led me to major in anthropology and to study abroad in Jamaica. At the same time, my desire to find a spiritual home led me to seek an even deeper connection with all things related to the cultural preservation of African heritages. My explorations included taking Haitian, Brazilian, and West African dance lessons. To this day, there is nowhere that I feel more in tune with a group of people than when I can leave my love of books and words to escape into a tactile, sweaty place where sharing love and creativity through dance is all that matters. There is a synchronicity that seems to quickly develop amongst people who are captivated by the deeper meaning behind the drum rhythms that roll rapidly off Jaiffar and Juju’s hands on any given night.

When I was asked to attend a conference at Sewanee, School of the South, in Tennessee, I saw it as another time where I would represent the Episcopal Service Corps and the Life Together Programs and then come home. I had prepared my notes for presentation, read up on all the various web sites so that I could answer specific questions, and then copied my handouts for the weekend. The part of me that had prayed on the flight, and had asked God to be with me and the participants, was clear that this would be a wonderful opportunity. I was clear that this would be a chance for these young adults of color to consider the possibilities for lay and ordained leadership in our church, and yet I was not expecting to be moved so personally my self.

But after arriving just in time for my presentation, Amaya, a young lady who I would find made sure that everything I needed was taken care of the entire time, began to minister to me and others while managing to take good care of herself as well. I soon learned that the conference would focus on six big sessions on:

Exploring Cultural Identity

Life as Mission

Discernment as a Spiritual Practice

Clarifying Questions

Exploring Our Questions

Living a Discerning Life

The most memorable session for me addressed our questions about how to build the church that we most want. Our leader and conference organizer, Jason Sierra, deftly helped gather people’s questions and complaints about the church into action plans, demonstrating and modeling what needs to happen to transform ourselves from those who remain observant in the pews into those who light our lamps and lead the way. As we took part in these activities, I could see the demeanor of the many participants change as they examined their own power and questioned any helplessness.

I am sure some went back to their communities to confront and challenge any feelings of isolation, but for so many of the participants who had generations of family members in their same church community, there was also a sense of true and solid Episcopal pride and a yearning to create even more progress.

As we jumped into the various exercises, I was pleasantly surprised that I would find such a deep well of generosity of spirit and a feeling of historical rootedness. In particular, as the group of people from the African Diaspora planned our contribution to the cultural share portion of the program, we were issued a challenge by Roxanna. Instead of breaking off into various countries and groupings, to make mini presentations that were based upon separate groups, such as, Ghanaians, Liberians, Jamaicans, and African-Americans, and then combining the presentation at the end, she asked the group to create something that could be presented as a 27 person unit. Yaw, our facilitator, and Darian, our note-taker, were exuberant about taking on this challenge and led us through the process with only a few bumps or snags that all ironed themselves out along the way. The end result was an inclusive and powerful exploration of challenging stereotypes about Black people using skits, song, and presentation. The other groups represented in the Cultural share were the Native Americans, several sub divisions in Asia, as well as a Latin American group, all of whom made varied and beautiful presentations, including video, dance, costumes, comedy, and power point.

Particularly moving to me was that several of the dances we participated in, gathered us into a circle, reminding me that there are many places to find the kind of spiritual community that might nurture me as well as my dance community has done in the past.

Later, we headed to service that truly brought together all of cultures into one for a period of time. This was the kind of service that I couldn’t have imagined as a child, but prayed might exist. I realized that I had never took part in an Episcopal Service where I didn’t stand out to myself, where I was just one in the number. During that service we sang in Lakota, we danced in the aisles, swayed and bowed, and even stood enveloped in silence. As we went forward to be smudged by a bundle of sage, the Holy Spirit moved us while we were covered in layers of smoke.

Over the course of this weekend, I did present information about the Episcopal Service Corps. We explored questions like: What does it mean to you to be an Episcopalian? What does discernment mean to you? What are some big decisions you’ve made in your life? How did you come to the decision that you reached? The answers were too great and varied to be shared here. But, more than my presentation, I think setting the resources and time aside for a gathering like this one will ensure that there are a significant number of people of color in the church taking on leadership in the future. And what stands out most to me is that we this weekend planted a big seed of possibility. It was an affirmation that the Episcopal church is a place where we all have the capacity to feel fully at home. Despite our few short days together, the House of God was established with force and power. I am convinced we all took this memory with us. All that is left is to use these models to build even more diversity and acceptance in the places we have come from. In building an Epsicopal church were we can all be at home, this is certainly one of the most important building blocks that any thinking person of faith could ask for!

Aside from the Main organizer of the Conference, Jason Sierra, names are changed to protect confidentiality of those present.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

St. Stephen's Youth Sunday Service: "We will, with God's help."

Over 50 young people participated in and led worship Sunday June 6 at St. Stephen’s Youth Sunday Service. Youth wrote and lead prayers, gave the sermon, served communion, greeted parishioners, played music, ushered, and sang to show that young people are alive and well in the church.  Each youth was recognized by class and given an age-appropriate Bible. The Bibles were granted by the Massachusetts Bible Society.

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer for Peace

LifeTogether Intern Kathryn Kendrick's placement site, St. Stephen's South End, is responding with organized prayer meetings through August to the loss of 4 lives in Dorchester this month. Check out the story on St. Stephen's blog.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grace and service in the Episcopal Church

Rachel Pattengill, Diomass Intern at Grace Church in Medford, contributed this post. She recently graduated from the seminary school of Nyack College.

A month ago, I was asked to speak at my old church in Nyack NY about the Episcopal Service Corps and the Micah Project; the following is what I shared: 

Its a delight to be back here at Grace Nyack. This place has had a formative role in my faith journey. And its a privilege to be able to come and speak to you a little bit about that journey and the role that you all played in it. 
In the late Spring of 2007 I was in a place of confusion about what sort of church I fit in. For many years I been part of an evangelical church, but that Spring I had been introduced to the Episcopal church here at Grace by my friend, Emily Wilkins, and so in this season of my life I found myself attending one church on one Sunday and a different church the next, alternating between my old evangelical church and here at Grace Nyack. 
One Sunday during this time I left my apartment to head over to the evangelical church, and a girl from the building next to me ran up and asked if I could please drop her off at the mall, she was late for work. Sure I said, it was a little out of my way but I could do that. So I dropped her off and then got to the highway figuring I was running about 5 or 10 minutes late to the service - not a problem, I could just sneak in the back. So then I'm driving down the Palisades Parkway when all of a sudden I realize that I totally missed my exit! Oh well, I'll just take the next exit and wander the backroads until I find my church, it's OK I'll only be 20 minutes late, I'll still be in time for the sermon. As I approached the church, however, for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to make the turn into the parking lot. I found myself just driving past the church and pulling into a different parking lot at a nearby park, where I spent the next hour walking around thinking about why I couldn’t bring myself to go back to the evangelical church. 
Some of the questions I was mulling over included: Why was I part of a church whose values were different from mine? Why was I still part of a church that didn’t affirm my call because of my gender? I was 25 years old and had spent most of those years dedicated to the evangelical church. And here I was in seminary preparing spend my life working for this church and I just couldn’t do it anymore. The thought of staying with that church brought me into a place of desolation. I just didn’t fit anymore; my values and my beliefs had changed over the years. And for the last year or so I had been going to the Episcopal church part time, thinking I was just taking a little vacation from the evangelical church, but now I didn’t want my vacation to end. I wanted more. 
So now my question was, is the Episcopal church the right place for me? Is this a church I can see myself spending my life working for? 
The following Sunday I entered Grace church not just as a temporary visitor, but as someone who was ready to seriously consider joining the Episcopal church. 
For the next couple of years I was warmly welcomed into the community here at Grace. I met amazing people like Charlotte who greeted me every Sunday. And I met John and Mitch who invited me to be a part of the Adult Spiritual Formation committee, and Deb Adamy who let me help out with the senior high youth group and all those amazing teens. I got to help teach confirmation with Charlie Cross and Mother Emily. And I got to be part of the Acolyte team with Jeff and Pat and Cindy and Jeanette and Evelyn, whose joy in serving on the altar is infectious! I loved being a part of the community here. I felt that I finally found a place where I fit, here is a church that holds the same values of social justice and equality that I hold while also maintaining a deep reverence for the liturgical tradition. 
In 2008, after I was confirmed, I started to think seriously about my future in the Episcopal church. I have felt called since I was 15 years old to dedicate my life to the church. So I started to talk with "Mother Emily" about the priesthood and she encouraged me to do an internship with the Episcopal Service Corps. 
The Episcopal Service Corps is made up of 12 different programs throughout the States that provide young adults with opportunities to work for social justice, to deepen their spiritual awareness, to develop leadership skills through servant leadership, to discern their vocation and do all this while living a simple, sustainable lifestyle. 
In the fall I joined the Micah Project, the Episcopal Service Corps (ESC) program in Boston Massachusetts. The Micah Project is one of two programs of the Diomass Life Together Internship. It is based on the passage in the book of Micah that says “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly before your God.” The program emphasizes spirituality, justice, discernment, and community. We live together in intentional Christian community, discerning our own vocational calls while serving the Boston area in social justice-related placements. We also work closely with the Relational Evangelists, a group of interns who are trained as faith-based community organizers with the intention of engaging more young adults in the mission of God by growing authentic community, deepening spiritual lives and making a difference in the world. 
Micah Interns spend 30 hours a week working at a church or a non-profit site. We spend 8-10 hours a week in leadership training, spiritual reflection and vocational discernment. We also live in an intentional community where we eat and pray together 3 times a week and meet weekly as a house. 
I spend my 30 hours working for Grace Episcopal Church in Medford MA where I participate in the life of the church, I help serve on the altar on Sundays, I help teach rite 13 and adult education on Wednesdays, I’m organizing a mission trip with the senior high youth group for the summer, I am part of the outreach and pastoral care committees, and I organized a campaign around hunger justice during Lent. I also work with college students at Tufts University, where we hope to restart a Lutheran-Episcopal Chaplaincy in the next year. 

I have learned so much this year about myself and about what my purpose in this world is. I have learned that it takes all kinds of people to serve God. 
I learned that we are meant for community, even when community is hard. 
I learned that conflicts are an important part of relationships and the only way to become more intimate with one another is to work through those conflicts. 
I have learned that it is better to work together and to empower others to use their talents and skills rather than trying to do things on my own. 
Above all, I have learned that Episcopal church is where I belong. And I want to spend my life serving God and working for justice and peace in all that I do. 
This program is something that I care a lot about - if any of you are interested in hearing more about it, or if you know anyone who would be interested in applying to these programs, I and my fellow interns would love to speak with you about it after the service. Thank you. 

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Reflection on Glory

This post is an abbreviation of a sermon given by Micah Intern Mac Stewart at St. Marks and St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Dorchester on May 16.

“Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” 
Glory.  It’s one of those words that we hear a lot in church.  We hear it every time we say the Lord’s Prayer: “for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever.”  A commonly repeated phrase in our Book of Common Prayer is “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”  We just sang a few minutes ago the “Gloria”: “Glory to God in highest…”  So we hear this word all the time in church.  But not only here.  The world outside of churches is pretty interested in glory as well.  We love to see and enjoy big, beautiful architectural structures like Trinity Church in Copley Square, or buildings like Symphony Hall that ring with glorious music.  I’m a huge sports fan, and I find this word used all the time in sports world.  When my school, the University of North Carolina, won the national championship in basketball in 2005, the cover of Sports Illustrated the following week had a big picture of one of our players on the cover with the heading, “Return to Glory.” 

So we think about this word often, in many different contexts, but given that we hear it so much in the context of church, many of us probably naturally associate the word as having something to do with God. 
    -We know that glory has something to do with beauty; and we say that God is the Beautiful One who is the source of all other beauty. 
    -We know that glory has something to do with goodness; and we say that God is Goodness itself, the One from whom all goodness flows. 
    -We know that glory has something to do with power; and we say that God is the All-mighty Creator who spoke and the world came to be. 
In the Old Testament, this word is intimately tied to all the stories of the presence of God among the people of Israel.  The glory of the LORD is the power that brings Israel out of Egypt.  It’s the devouring fire that Moses enters to receive the commandments on top of the mountain.  It is the goodness that is so good that Moses cannot look at it face to face and live.  It is the weightinessthat demands awe, so that one cannot help but fall on the ground and worship in its presence.   
And so with all these ideas floating around about where we often hear the word glory and about what this word might mean or what thoughts it might conjure up for us…with all of this in our heads, let’s turn to our lesson today from the Gospel of John.

The very first thing we notice when hearing this passage is the first five words: “Jesus prayed for his disciples.”  Jesus is praying for us.  And this is not just a quick blessing before dinner;  this is the very last thing Jesus does before he is arrested, put on trial, and crucified.  His last act, his last words before heading to the Cross, are this prayer.  And then we look at what he is praying for.  He prays a lot of things here, but there’s one thing in particular I want to draw attention to, the verse I started with: “Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”  To see the glory which Jesus had before the foundation of the world…What is this glory?  Is this the glory of a beautiful sunset, of music that speaks to many souls at the same time?  Is this the glory of the devouring fire on Mount Sinai, of the presence of God that leads the people of Israel through the wilderness?  “Father may they see my glory which you have given me because you loved me.”  This is the glory of the love that the eternal Father has for the eternal Son, the love that a parent has for their precious child. 

God says of Jesus: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  This is the glory of the sheer delight that two persons have in one another….the glory of a relationship….the glory of Love.  That’s the new definition of glory, revealed in Jesus Christ.  And my brothers and sisters, here is the good news: Jesus says to God: “the glory that you have given me, I have given them.”  We are given a share in that glory, graciously, as a free gift, without cost or condition.  We are invited into that relationship, into the love that the eternal Father has for the eternal Son.  We are adopted into this life, the life of the Holy Trinity, as children of God.  Jesus prays to his Father that “the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and in them.”  The love of the Father in us.  Jesus in us.  This means that when God looks at us he says exactly what he says when he looks at Jesus: “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”  Can we believe this?  Can we believe that we exist for God’s delight?  We are reminded of this every week at the Eucharistic table when we pray, “Holy and gracious Father, in your infinite love you made us for yourself…”  That is what we are for.  And that is good news. 
Jesus prays that we would see his glory, and he shows us where that glory is found: in all the crucifixions of our lives.  May the Love of Christ give us the strength to confront those places in our lives and in our world, and the eyes to see and the ears to hear the bright morning star that sings to us there, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.”

Labels: ,