Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homily for Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Holy Thursday, by Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP

A week ago yesterday,
along with 150 other people from various faith traditions,
I participated in an interfaith Seder
in preparation for this year's Passover celebration.
Rabbi Samuel Weinstein presided at the event
at Temple Shomer Emunim in Sylvania.
We prayed together,
listened to a historical and theological explanation
of the ritual and the symbolic food,
sampled the bitter herbs-- maror--
and the boiled egg, haroset, parsley, motzoh...
and drank four glasses of wine.
We made new friends and shared our stories.
It was the meal that Jesus shared with his disciples
the night before he died.
Four days later, on the night before Passover,
a neo-Nazi charged into a Jewish facility
in Overland Park, Kansas,
a JCC and temple just like the one we had gathered in.
His vicious anti-Semitism took three lives.
Tonight we Christians
begin our annual celebration of the paschal mystery.
It's not easy to pull our focus away from this violence.
Yet the Passover continues for our Jewish brothers and sisters,
in spite of the hatred aimed at them.
The Triduum begins for the grieving families
of the Methodist grandfather and grandson
and the Catholic mother killed in Overland Park,
in spite of the tragedy visited on them.
With them, we assert once again
our faith that God acts in history
and that God's action is good, not evil.
We Christians see the paschal mystery--
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again--
as a universal pattern.
As Fr. Richard Rohr puts it,
"Life will be death, failure, and absurdity,
which can lead to renewal, joy, and beauty.
The pattern is inevitable, universal, and transformative."
Jesus reveals and lives this pattern
and tells us that we can trust it.
The pattern is everywhere,
and Jesus is our model and our guide.
Each of us experiences the same pattern in our own lives.
We are born. We live. We die.
And we are reborn to live again.
Each of us has lived and re-lived that pattern many times already.
We have started something--schooling, marriage, job, friendship--
and given it our best.
And along the way we've failed, fallen short of the mark,
then picked up the pieces and tried again.
Our hope, as it's said, springs eternal.
We keep on keeping on.
We get up and go again.
At that interfaith Seder the pattern of our history,
of our human lives and deaths,
and of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection,
merged for me.
I knew the presence of my ancestors in faith.
I enjoyed the presence of new friends.
I felt the presence at the table
of Jesus the Jew
and the risen Christ.
It's that same paschal mystery we celebrate in our three-day ritual,
beginning tonight.
It's all one event, a remembering of life and death and resurrection;
it's all one with our own lives and Jesus' life.
Over the next three days,
you and I will give witness to Jesus' commitment
to live in love and truth, faithful to God's will,
even at the cost of his life.
The commitment transforms him,
as it transforms us
when we ground ourselves
in God's unconditional love
and Jesus's prophetic example.
Tonight we remember and celebrate in our table fellowship
the call to serve one another--
to wash one another's feet.
No matter the challenge,
with God's love we rise again,
and again.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Mass at 2086 Brookdale (Interfaith Chapel):
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Mass at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

Rev. Bev Bingle, Pastor

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