What is Emerging?
The Loretto Community at the Motherhouse has the privilege almost every Sunday to celebrate together with song and prayer using a ritual that is profound in its simplicity and beautiful in its depth. The homily is ordinarily given by a member of the Community. On the second Sunday after Easter, Johanna Brian offered the homily sharing her insights on the popular story of two disciples on their way to Emmaus. You may recall these two men were totally discouraged over the death of Jesus whom they thought was going to save them from the Romans and bring peace to the Jews. They got “caught in the hamster wheel of sharing down-spiraling negative thinking,” Johanna shared in her homily, and “continued their recitation of the bad news to the clueless stranger who joined them.”
This story, as Luke has told it, provides us with many learnings. The one that is often hidden, Johanna reminds us, is that “we, like the two friends of Jesus, struggle to continue to hope and believe that our efforts can make a difference in a world where humongous problems proliferate daily and cause pain and suffering for millions of innocent people.” And, “We also know all too well that the hour is growing late.”
Johanna continued with a comment from Teilhard de Chardin on the words, “Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening and the day is far spent.” The following is what I gleaned from his answer: It is true that most of us are in the evenings of our lives, and so a lot of our attention is on our aging. We can become discouraged about what we can do to bring about a better future. At the same time we recognize our soul, our spirit, is forever young and enthusiastic about life and what we still have to offer the world. Not like 20-year-olds, but like 90-year-olds filled with wisdom and hearts of compassion for what remains for us to do and become, trusting the Divine Mystery drawing us forward in an unknown future in this evolutionary process.
We invite you to join us in pondering this message. Do we really believe that our soul can never age and that we can remain hopeful and enthusiastic about life and have the spiritual energy to make a difference in the world? When we gather, is there an animated energy that rises as we continue to work for justice and act for peace? Do we trust the Divine Mystery drawing us forward in an unknown future? We would be glad to receive your ponderings if you wish to share them. Thank you.
Members of the Emerging Forms Group are Susan Classen, JoAnn Gates, Pat Geier, Roberta Hudlow, Sharon Kassing, Mary Ellen McElroy, Cathy Mueller, Julie Popham, Robin Marlow (co-member in- process).