Archive for April, 2019

Easter: “God Alive” 4-21-2019

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

We have all seen images from all around the world: the death and
devastation in the wake of earthquakes, floods, tsunami’s, and tornadoes.
We shake our heads in disbelief: How could God let such a thing
happen? Where was God for these people?
But in the darkness of such tragedy, listen to the angel of Easter
morning: Look beyond the stone; God is not entombed but very much
alive here. See the doctor who leaves his practice to travel half way
around the world to help care for the survivors? See the relief workers
who work night and day setting up clinics and camps, drilling fresh
water wells and rebuilding roads? See the churches and schools and
communities around the world who mobilize to collect money and
clothing and food and medicine? God is not buried in the rubble – God
is raised up in such compassion and generosity.
As the temperature hovers around zero, a fire destroys a city block.
Several people are killed, many are seriously hurt; scores of families are
suddenly homeless, everything they own lost in the blaze. We feel for
their plight: How could God let this happen? Where was God for them
this night?
But in the ashes, the angel at the entrance of the tomb asks: Why
do you see God in the ruins? Didn’t you see the firefighter who risked
his life to save that five-year-old trapped on the sixth floor? Didn’t you
see the EMTs work miracles in treating the victims of burns and smoke
inhalation and rush to get them to hospitals? Didn’t you see the
volunteers who came with food and blankets, helping the homeless take
the first difficult steps in rebuilding their lives? God is not among the
ashes – God is alive in the selflessness and sacrifice exhibited this
horrible night.
War takes many forms and is waged in many places. Wars are
fought globally, nationally, and locally; wars are waged not only in
jungles and ravaged cities, on the streets of Salinas, Watsonville, Santa
Cruz—yes, even in Aptos and Vatican City, but also in offices and
school yards, in kitchens and bedrooms. We cry: How can God let us
keep destroying one another? Where is God in the midst of such hatred
and violence, such greed and deceit?
But the angel of the empty tomb assures us: Don’t be afraid. God
walks among you in those who have dedicated their lives to the work of
peace, who empty themselves of their own wants and needs in order to
bring consolation and hope to others, who work tirelessly to tear down
walls of bigotry and build bridges across the divides of race and culture
and class, who find their joy seeking joy for another.
God lives, the angel assures us. God goes to meet you. Look –
and you will see God.
I close. Overwhelmed by the tragedies and devastation that
surround us, we can become mired in a Good Friday mindset: We shake
our heads and wonder how God the almighty Creator of all things can let
such evil befall this world. But Easter calls us to realize a much
different vision: God is not to be found in the tragedies that befall us or
the evil that entraps us; God is found in the love, compassion and
forgiveness God raises up in the hearts of those men and women whose
lives reflect God’s presence in our midst. God has raised up his
crucified Son, who walks among us in all that is good and right and
giving, in everyone and everything that transforms our world from darkness to light, from despair to hope, from death to life. On this
Easter morning, may the stones of hurt and cynicism be rolled back from
our hearts and spirits, enabling us all to behold the Risen God before us.
Let us stand and profess our faith in God – alive and among us.

Palm Sunday Reflection 4-14-2019

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

What does it mean, this good, kind loving young man,-barely in his thirties- dying for no crime at all. What does it mean and what is it for?
What it means is that God loves us so much that God will withhold from us absolutely nothing – not even God’s own dear Son. What it means is that no matter what, God will always be there for us, with All God’s love and power, comfort and grace.
There are no limits to God’s commitment to us, none at all. Through this terrible moment in Jesus’ life. God’s saying, “You can count on me. I’ll never desert you, and there’s nothing I won’t give you, not even my Son.”
This Passion Sunday is, in one way, a very sad day. Walking with Jesus on this day can break your heart. But it’s also the brightest of days, because it tells how very much we are loved, and because it reminds us who view it from the vantage point of the resurrection that, despite all appearances, failure, death, rejection, ALL WILL BE WELL!