In February I had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. One of the major exhibitions was called “Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World.” It focused on several indigenous philosophies about the creation and order of the universe, and the spiritual relationship people share with the natural world.
Reading Greek mythology was my favorite as a pre-teen. There was Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt. The patron goddess of Athens and the Greek goddess of wisdom, was Athena. She was an active participant in the Trojan War, where one of my heroes, Achilles died. I was fascinated by the labors of Heracles. While I didn’t initially grasp the story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, I somehow discerned that his story was far more than entertainment.
Flowers are often gifted as an expression of love and friendship, gratitude or celebration. Just think about the last time someone gave you flowers. Wasn’t it fun, surprising and exhilarating? It is amazing how the simple gesture of being given flowers can make us feel so much and how we can look at the them resting in their vase in our home or office – and feel … so blessed. Why do we all too often, wait, to be gifted flowers?
Lessons from Joseph
The Old Testament lesson for this Friday in the second week of Lent is found in the book of Genesis and may be very familiar to many of you. It’s the beginning of the story of Joseph, his father and his brothers and tells how Joseph ends up in a pit because of jealousy, insecurity and hatred.
I’ve always been much more of a Advent/Christmas Christian than a Lent/ Easter one. The waiting in the darkness of Advent, the Incarnation – God breaking into the universe – what a trip! The whole lent/Easter thing: much harder for me. For most of my life, all it took was for me to hear “take up your cross,” and I’m heading for the hills. I don’t want to be weighed down with suffering and sorrow, I don’t like to think of Jesus that way either.
Of ashes you came and to ashes you shall return. At the core of who we are is the energy that gives life to our body and mind. Every day our attention is moved and manipulated by the world around us and the world inside us. In a season of self-reflection we ask ourselves to examine the truths that we lean onto on a daily basis.
Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God.
When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they daily say unto me:
“Where is now thy God?
Jesus was a revolutionary zealot. This truth might have been nearly lost to history, but it is re-emerging with greater frequency and deep ferocity. As intersectional revolutionary movements of liberation spring up throughout our nation and around the world, we are meeting once again the historical Jesus who was convicted of sedition and executed by the state. And we are realizing he has a claim on our life that is deeply entwined with liberation and justice for all.
As we prepare to celebrate Easter on April 16 this year, it is very probable that we are already starting to think about how to celebrate that special day. For sure that a big part of the celebration includes a meal, and getting together with friends and family. Some people even go all the way to wear that special Easter outfit, decorate their homes, etc.
My Lenten book group is reading the Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality.” In Latin, the Official title is: Laudoto Si, mi’ Signore – a quote from his chosen namesake that translates to “Praise be to you my Lord.” I must confess that if I were writing a book on this topic, its title would be more along the lines of “Oh my God! What now?!” or “Dear Lord, we’re all doomed!”
This Lent we have chosen to offer our daily reflections through the lens of a Lenten discipline of sacred resistance. Today — International Women’s Day — we are putting our reflection into a day of action in support of A Day Without A Woman — a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.