Allelujah!! He is Risen!!
Our readings for this Sunday, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, the Resurrection of the Lord are here.
These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the
- May 1, 2016, 10AM Mass, and
- May 5, 2013, 10AM Mass
The poems Fr Dennis references in 2016 and 2013 are:
In 2016, we reflected on —
- The readings are meant to encourage the participation in Christian life of the new members of our community.
- The gospel and second reading offer a sense of fullness; we should be delighted that Jesus is gone because this is the restoration of Jesus, to where he came from.
- In the second reading from the Book of Revelation, Jerusalem is coming from the heavens because God’s very self is the fullness of the city, the very light of which is never extinguished.
- In the first reading from Acts, “because there arose no little dissension and debate among them,” as to whether Gentiles can be in the church — Yes, they can! However, if the Gentiles are no longer separate from the Jewish-Christians, are the Jewish-Christians still a segment of Jewish religion? What is the common ground, particularly with regard to the many Jewish rules? This is all about the nascent community and its members trying to find their place in their world as it is and also as Christ calls us to live.
- The NY Times obituary for Fr Daniel Berrigan, SJ included the basis for his persistent radicalism, paraphrased If I don’t have faith, then I couldn’t give myself knowing that probably nothing is going to change.
- Ultimately, these readings are about what does it means to be “our family” in this world of the Resurrected Christ?
- In Thomas Lynch’s poem, West Highland, he includes his sense of envy of people who seem to have it all together, but it is also a good reminder that Jesus offers Peace, not a solution. Our focus on outcome can be a distraction from a focus on being, being in Christ — however that may manifest. Thomas Lynch is a Michigan poet and part of a family providing undertaker and funeral services for generations now.
In 2013, we reflected on —
- D2 used the Gospel reading from Cycle B (John 15:9-17). That we remain in God’s Love so that our joy and God’s joy in us may be complete.
- In the poem Transportation by Kristen Lindquist, Fr Dennis found that it captures the shining from within of the Gospel Cycle B and Book of Revelation readings, how the Love of Christ will illuminate the shining from within —
- Everyone in O’Hare is happy today / The sun shines benevolently …
With different relationship but same enthusiasm at Lindquist’s verse: I like the way [he] moves! What immediately leapt into my mind (so to speak) at the thought of illumination and transportation from within was North American hoop dance (history within link). I had seen one particular video captured at a school, but instead, I’ve used a video link of the same young man, Nakotah LaRance, dancing at the 2016 World Championships. In the link I share, he uses five hoops in a more rapid and creative fashion than during his dance at the elementary school, in which he used eighteen hoops (and, yes, at one point, is engaged with all at once.) At the 2016 World Championship, he dances sage grouse, alligator, eagle, and even some moon-stepping. 🙂 The life and joy shine out of him and his dance, it resurrects and is kept alive at the same time.
And I suppose this theme of dancing — of all kinds, captures the dynamic peace in the Resurrection for me, the one created by the Lord of the Dance.
Interestingly, very early on (more detail in the history link above), the Hoop Dance Championships decided on age divisions but no gender divisions. In 2000, Lisa Odgig (Seneca) became the first female dancer to earn the World Championship; she repeated in 2003. She continues to dance in the open and senior divisions, but I couldn’t find a video from those early years.
The Salvador Dali image featured in this week’s entry is one of two in his New Jerusalem suite; this is image 1, entitled The Messiah; The Harbinger. You can see Golgotha and Jerusalem in the background. I chose a human community representation this time, though I am one of those who steps into nature and meets God immediately. However, Brian Matz in his book on St Gregory of Nazianzus (2016) had an insight that profoundly impacted me:
Nature is excellent for meditating on God’s invisible attributes but engagement with other people reveals God’s visible image. Church communities help us witness the power of God’s grace to bring order out of the chaos of our lives; the church of nature cannot do that (Matz, 113).
St Gregory the Theologian taught that humans are most made in the image of God when we love other humans, especially the poor (Oration 14, Love of the Poor, c. 370 C.E./A.D.).