Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dark Passages

Lectio Divina

... the crowds paid attention to what was said.

Acts 8:6


Continuing Dietrich, Broken and Shared. Absorbed by the news about the Boston Marathon bombing.


Today, morning prayer only in the chapel. We will celebrate the Eucharist at Old Mission Santa Barbara this evening. There, we will see relics of Saint Anthony of Padua, the first Franciscan theologian. These relics, I understand, are being presented by two Franciscan friars who have brought them from Padua, Italy. At the eucharistic table (and before that, at the dinner table!), we will enjoy the company of our Franciscan brothers and, via mystical presence, our ancestor in the faith.

Later this morning, continuing our study of methods of Scripture exegesis. Focusing on the darker passages of Scripture, the "texts of terror" that call into question the identity of God and God's will for humanity.

Speaking of dark passages, I am continuing to deal with my feelings of anger over the bombings in Boston. This all feels so close to me, now that it is known that a Dorchester family lost their eight-year-old son, and a Boston University graduate student from China died. I've lived in Dorchester, and I studied at Boston University. These people are my family -- my mother, my sisters, my brothers.

Marsh Chapel, the center of all worship at BU, held a vigil yesterday afternoon as it became known one of their own students had died. I know the dean of the chapel, Rev. Robert Allan Hill, who is also on the faculty of the School of Theology.

The Catholic Church in Boston is also holding prayer services. There will be an interreligious prayer service tomorrow at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the seat of the Archdiocese of Boston. President Obama will be there. I hope to see it on television.

May God open the lips of all the religious leaders who will be called upon to offer words of consolation and hope and a peaceful, healing presence.

From Cardinal Sean O'Malley for the Archdiocese of Boston:

The Archdiocese of Boston joins all people of good will in expressing deep sorrow following the senseless acts of violence perpetrated at the Boston Marathon today.  Our prayers and concern are with so many who experienced the trauma of these acts, most especially the loved ones of those who lives were lost and those who were injured, and the injured themselves.

The citizens of the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are blessed by the bravery and heroism of many, particularly the men and women of the police and fire departments and emergency services who responded within moments of these tragic events.  Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino and Police Commissioner Davis are providing the leadership that will see us through this most difficult time and ensure that proper procedures are followed to protect the public safety.

In the midst of the darkness of this tragedy we turn to the light of Jesus Christ, the light that was evident in the lives of people who immediately turned to help those in need today.  We stand in solidarity with our ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in the commitment to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing.

From the Massachusetts Council of Churches, representing the Protestant and Orthodox churches of the Commonwealth: 

"Behold, I will bring health and healing to the city; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth."  Jeremiah 33:6 

Our hearts are heavy in Massachusetts. On a great day of civic pride and joy, our city of Boston was scarred by violence. We grieve for those who have died. Bodies made to run and cheer were wounded. Our eyes are burned with images of terror in the very streets where we walk. Attend to us, Great Physician. 

We do not yet now why this has happened. Preserve us from quick judgments, O Lord. Give us wisdom in the days ahead. Reveal to us peace and truth. We sing the African-American spiritual "guide my feet, while I run this race, for I don't want to run this race in vain." In this time of uncertainty and fear, we cling to the sure promises of our God that we do not go on in vain. 

Even as we grieve, we will remain steadfast in charity, defiant in hope, and constant in prayer. We are grateful for the prayers and support from across the country and the globe. Please continue to pray for the victims. Pray for our first responders, our elected officials, and the media who work with such trauma and return home to their own families. Pray for those without permanent homes who live in our public parks, displaced by this violence in our city. Pray for the marathoners, tourists and visitors far from home. 

The Massachusetts Council of Churches joins our prayers with citizens throughout the Commonwealth. In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, may our God indeed bring health and healing to the city. 


Too cool. Too cool! Where is the heat to accompany the abundant light?

No comments:

Post a Comment