Thursday, March 29, 2018

I Will Go, Lord.

On the Tuesday of Holy Week, Bishop Lee, the clergy, and laity gathered at St. James Cathedral for the annual renewal of ordination and baptismal vows. The bishop also blessed the holy oil called chrism for use in baptisms. The closing hymn of the Chrism Mass was "Here I Am, Lord," and it was very moving to sing the chorus, "Here I am Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart." Those verses have always resonated with me in a very personal way, much as the words of another hymn we sang at that liturgy, "Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God, he to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood."

The essential message of those hymns is that, left to our own devices, we wander aimlessly, but if we rely on God to lead us, he will lead us toward new life. We are all called to serve, and God leads each one of us to serve in different ways; but as we enter the Easter Triduum, we must not lose sight that we are taking this journey together, with Jesus and with each other. We will wait together in the Garden of Gethsemane. We will walk together along the path to Calvary. We will witness the crucifixion and mourn together. And we will greet the resurrection with abundant joy--together. And through it all, we must be attentive to God's promptings to each one of us to go where God directs, and respond, yes, "I will go Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart." God calls each of us. Where is God leading you? That is part of the Paschal mystery that we will explore together.

Abundant blessings,
Fr. Ethan+

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