Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Election and A Reflection

Last week the Seminary held its annual Student Government Elections. Unlike most other places active campaigning is not allowed. Seminarians must be asked to run and accept a nomination in order to be in the race. After a week of nominations and voting I was elected to be the House President next year. My first act as President will be posting this picture
of Deacon Charles Pawlowski on my blog and waiting to see how long it takes him to figure out I did so. My second act will be to share the following reflection which I offered at Evening Prayer this evening: The great American Poet Emma Lazarus famously declared when speaking of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. She was speaking of the waves of immigrants that flooded the shores of America one hundred and sixty years ago, looking around the chapel this night, just weeks before the end of the year, I can’t help but wonder if she could also be speaking of seminarians. However, truth be told looking around this chapel tonight I see something else , I see the faces of my brothers, and the stories they tell, the journey’s they have been on, each of them incredibly different, incredibly beautiful, and precious in the eyes of God. I see the new men, our brothers who have finished their first year in formation and I am edified by the courageous witness of their faith, and the quiet and faithful patience they have shown in following Christ, and in sacrificing so very much to be here with us all. I see the deacons preparing for ordination, and completing a journey of many years, a journey as varied as the men that make up that class and a journey which begins anew in a matter of weeks. I see the great many of us who are somewhere in between. Journeying in faith and in prayer beside one another, and seeking to discover, answer and follow the call of God, which was so beautifully placed in our hearts so many years ago. In this evening’s reading Peter reminds us that Christ is the Living Stone, rejected by men, and precious to God. How the world responded to Jesus, who they understood him to be, mattered not for it was in God’s eyes that he was precious. All of us gathered here tonight must remember too, that it is in God that we find not only are precious worth, but also our call. God has called us all to be here, and that is a beautiful. He has called some from within deep lives of faith, while others from the depths of conversion , he has called some from far away lands, and others from not that far at all . Whatever the case may be, that call is real, it is precious in the eyes of God, and it is worthy of our awe and respect. For Christ who is the living stone, calls each of us to be living stones, stones which are quarried in faith, hewn in surrender, and shaped by the loving hands of God. With each living stone God builds his church. With each of us here, with all of the stories of our lives deeply imprinted in our hearts, he builds His Church one living stone at at time. Stone upon stone he builds, with all of us, in our beautiful grace and in our deformity. We too are His living stones, we are called to be an edifice of the Spirit, and to be holy priests of God. As we accept the beauty and mystery of his call in our lives, may we have the courage to do the same in accepting His call in the lives of others, in the lives of those seated around us, for it is together that all of us stone by stone will continue to raise up the Church on the foundation that is Christ. One hundred and sixty years ago the tired, huddled masses built up the Church in this country, so too may these tired masses, yearning to breathe free, build up the Church once again.

No comments:

Important Blog News:

Please note this blog will begin being regularly updated after August 21st (when I arrive in Baltimore).