Monday, December 23, 2013

Homily:"She Is Holy Paradox Within" by Mary Sue Barnett, ARCWP

Book of Sirach 24: 1-11
The Interior Castle Teresa of Avila
Luke 1:41-56

In recent months I have been doing chaplaincy work in the trauma room at University Hospital.

I have been present to individuals and families who cry out loud for a miracle.

The cries are filled with passion and seem to reverberate into the vastness of the night skies.

To be human and to cry out in grief is to know what it is like to be little. It is a contingency experience.

"I am suffering. I am afraid. I want a miracle!"

On this darkest day of the year, when night envelops creation,

there is a paradox in our midst~~~~~

We hear from the Book of Sirach that Hokma/Sophia, Divine Wisdom,

speaks of Her glory in the highest heavens.

She is mobile and She covers the earth like a mist.

She encompasses heaven and traverses the abyss.

Over the oceans, over the earth and over every nation, She holds sway.

She is eternal and holy and wants to dwell in her beloved people.

Holy Wisdom emerges from the heavens and establishes a dwelling place in ancient Zion.

 She emerges also from the heavens into our winter solstice tonight to take root within us.

Sixteenth century Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila envisioned the soul

to be like a mansion made of diamond or crystal

with many, diverse rooms~~~~

This is our deepest, most mysterious self~~

It is where our passion lies~~

From within this mansion we Experience ourselves as little~~

It is from where we most feel our contingent experiences.

This mansion made of crystal is our inner Zion, our inner Jerusalem

where Divine Wisdom chooses Her dwelling place.

When we cry out for a miracle, She is there.

Beloved Wisdom is intimate and present.
AND, Beloved Wisdom WANTS to be intimate and present.

In the deep, dark center of our being, Her presence illumines all

things, especially our cries of grief.

She is Holy Paradox that we carry within.

When Mary sings her great song of liberation, she is speaking

directly to this Holy One who is dwelling intimately within her.

Like Hannah of the Hebrew Bible, Mary's BODY and VOICE are

magnified by God's miracle when life felt painfully small.

Pregnant with Wisdom Incarnate, Mary gives voice to her soul and

speaks on behalf of those who are held captive in the world because

 of human brokenness and because of Injustice that leads to

 belittlement and bleakness.

The Holy Paradox happening in Mary's depths animates and

 emboldens her to speak about power reversals on the earth

where the little ones are raised up and tyrants are diminished.

The mansion made of crystal with many rooms where Holiness dwells

 is an image of one's individual soul.

It's also an image of the Universal Soul where we all dwell with one

 another and with all of creation and where Hokma/Sophia has chosen

 to take root.

Within this universal soul there are so many who cry out for a miracle

 because they suffer.

Like a solitary little bird sitting atop a weeping cherry tree in a cold

 downpour, so many live in a state of constant vulnerability and

contingency waiting for compassionate intervention.

On this darkest day of the year, on this Fourth Saturday of

 Advent with our eye toward Christmas Day,

let us stop~~~~~

~~~~and be still

~~~~and be silent

~~~~~~and listen

Wisdom will be waiting.

You are Her beloved and She desires to be in dialogue with you.

And in this darkest day of the year, let us imagine what it would

be like to join one another on Wisdom's path to traverse the diverse

rooms and the lands for those who suffer:

----in hospital rooms

----in inner city violence

----in shelters

-----on the streets

-----in psychiatric wards

-----in halfway houses

----in brothels

----in isolation

-----in the bleakness of depression

This is Wisdom Incarnate. This is the Christ breaking into the mystery

 of today's winter solstice, who is taking up residence in a beloved

 city, who grows tall like a cedar, who fills out with glorious blossoms

the weeping cherry tree

and who gives forth to all

her sacred fragrance.

Let us participate fully in the human cries for miracles and let us

 compose our own songs of liberation and healing

where the sounds of Wisdom reverberate from Zion forever!

December 21, 2013
Christ Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community
Mary Sue Barnett, ARCWP Priest

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