Showing posts from April, 2012

Discerning with God

Donal Dorr writes that "mission is not just a matter of doing things for people. It is first a matter of being with people, of listening and sharing with them." When we begin to engage with our brothers and sisters overseas in response to that call to mission, this is often where we begin: we strive simply and profoundly to be with people. This past Saturday, I attended a conference in Seattle for parishes that have or are interested in having relationships with people overseas. In the keynote address, the speaker discussed her first trip to Malawi, in which she had to accept local customs that made her uncomfortable, like being the guest of honor at the funeral of someone that she had never met, after being in the country for only a day. Particularly difficult for her was accepting the offering of a chair to sit, even while others sat on the floor. This happened over and over again. She spent weeks with local women visiting the sick in their homes, always offered a c…

Holy Week Reflection: Standing with Christ

Following Christ, at times, goes against many of our basic instincts. Never is this more evident than during Holy Week, when the very people that have witnessed, listened to, and followed Jesus during his ministry are faced with his arrest, torture, and execution. We know that humans, like most animals, will naturally either fight or flee when faced with a threat. It's unsurprising, then, that when Jesus is to be arrested, Peter wields his sword in defense of the Messiah. But Jesus says no to this violence. Once fighting is "off the table," so to speak, the disciples choose the second option and flee. Stunningly, Jesus does neither, but faces death for the sake of humanity.

What must it have been like for the disciples during those days? They had put themselves at risk by following Jesus. They had broken laws and social norms; they had embraced those that they were taught to despise. But they persisted, even when overcome with doubt. Now, the walls were crumbling…