During Lent we have asked some of our church members, friends, and staff to respond to a one-word prompt. The word prompts reflect some of the themes we will be hearing in the Sunday Gospels.
Temptation… Awe… Change… Forgiveness… Judgment… Passion
Fifth Sunday of Lent | April 14, 2019 | “Passion”
The creative force behind all great art, all great drama, all great music, all great architecture, all great writing is passion. Passion is what energizes life. Passion makes the impossible possible. Passion gives us a reason to get up in the morning and go, “I’m going to do something with my life today.”
Without passion life becomes monotonous. It becomes routine. In Greek, the word for passion is the word “heart.” Passion has to do with our heart in God. The eternal fire that motivates and energizes us to fulfill our purposes.
Whenever I think of passionate people I think about my parents who have lovingly embodied the love of God for myself and my siblings entire life. And they would say that they passed on their passion from their parents. As with all stories from the past, they ultimately become a story embodied in our present. A story not just about us, but a story about God. A God who is determined to get what God wants – a passionate relationship with us.
Passion is not something that is static or that stays the same, because a fire will either spread or burn out. The tendency of fire, it left by itself, is to go out. Passionate relationship works the same way. We need to work it, stoke it and build it.
Bernadette Gibson is The Director of Pastoral Care at Old Saint Pat’s for the last 13 years. Bernadette advances the vision and values of our mission by offering a compassionate & devoted spiritual presence to our members in need.
In the jargon of those who study such things, “Nones” are those individuals who, when surveyed about religious affiliation, check the box next to “none.”
Among church leadership types, there is a fair amount of hand-wringing and worry about the growing number of “Nones” within the younger demographic. It’s understandable. Are churches on the brink of losing a generation? Church-going parents and grandparents, too, wonder if their children and grandchildren will find meaning in a church experience. It’s a troubling question.
However, Krista Tippett, author and host of the On Being radio program, sees in the passion of the “Nones” a hope for religion. She writes:
The Nones of this age are ecumenical, humanist, transreligious. In their midst are analogs to the original monastics: spiritual rebels and seekers on the margins of established religion, pointing tradition back to its own untamable, countercultural, service-oriented heart.
I think she’s on to something. Perhaps what we need now more than ever is the passionate leadership of a generation that yearns to point our tradition back “to its own untamable, countercultural, service-oriented heart.”
Bob Kolatorowicz directs Adult Education/Spirituality Ministries at Old St. Patrick’s Church.