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
Second Sunday of Lent | March 17, 2019 | “Awe”
I remember a wonderful trip with my husband Gary experiencing the humbling beauty of God’s grandeur in creation. As I stood standing over the Grand Canyon watching the majesty of life in God’s creation I was truly in awe of its beauty. It was a spiritual moment that expanded my understanding, and changed my thinking about fear. As I stood before the splendor, I began to think about the foundational divides in the church which I love so deeply. At the same time; I felt a deep peace that Jesus’ message of life giving love would prevail because our house is built on rock and not just on the shifting sands of time. I remember wanting to stay there, to bask in the euphoria of being in the presence of greatness, to lean into what it meant to see and feel the strength of God, but I knew that eventually I had to come down from this high place. The Awe I felt in this place did not define my faith but it has helped to solidify my faith in God, when I have found my foundation in turmoil.
– Bernadette Gibson
Bernadette Gibson is the Director of Pastoral Care at Old Saint Pats. Our Pastoral Care ministry endeavors to closely follow and imitate Jesus, the man who accompanied and was elegantly present to people in need, hurt or alone.
“We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that the savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.”
By: Mark Twain
Mark Twain has a valid point; once we know how things work, we tend to lose our sense of awe and wonder. When I was young, my family went camping in Colorado and us kids slept out on a tarp next to the campfire. I remember staring up at the stars and being mesmerized at the incredible number of stars. As I got older and had more responsibilities, I looked up at the sky less often and tended to focus on “my world.”
When I take time to stop and think about this wondrous and monstrous creation that God has created, I am amazed, especially when I think about how the Earth is moving. First, the Earth is spinning at 1,000 MPH. It is also rotating around the sun at 67,000 MPH. Our solar system is rotating around the center of our galaxy at 500,000 MPH. The whole universe is expanding at over 2 million MPH. Wow!!! The most amazing part is that no one is steering this ride!
– Tom Micinski
Tom Micinski, Coordinator of Liturgy for Old St. Pat’s.
“Awesome!” Is it overused? In the business and the busy-ness of ordinary life, what really is awe-inspiring? OMG – is there really an “Oh!” before “My God”? Awe isn’t limited to life’s soaring, mountain moments, like a breathtaking drive through the Rockies. It’s also in life’s unexpected avalanches — those “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me” moments. Keep looking up, advises the psalmist. “I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” This holiest time in the Catholic year reminds us of the “Days of Awe” in the Jewish year: the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Standing in awe before God, it’s a time of t’shuvah — a “turning” of introspection, reconciliation, and seeking forgiveness. Maybe Lent simply says to us, “Is there a better direction – to see again the majestic visions just around the next corner?” And then maybe can we truly say, “Awe…My God!”
– David and Patty Kovacs
David and Patty are long-time members of OSP and its interfaith community, lectors, writers of the Family Christmas Story, and a founding family of the Family School.