Nonviolence: Putting on the Heart of Jesus the Reconciler
With the beginning of the new church year on November 28, 2010, the community of the Spirit of St. Stephen begins its 16th consecutive year of praying for nonviolence and working for peace.
We continue our prayer of discerning the heart of Jesus by taking an in-depth look at one of his most prophetic and perhaps most disturbing practices, that of reconciliation… Simple enough on the surface, yet so profound that we will not have nearly enough time in our year of prayer, from the first Sunday of Advent 2010 to the Last Sunday in Ordinary Time 2011, to uncover all the riches of reconciliation.
We will look together at the prophets of the Hebrew scripture and the Christian scripture, paying special attention to Jesus, for reconciling words and actions. We will listen to other prophets of reconciliation, some of them alive in our time. We will wrestle with words loaded with the baggage of our Roman tradition and see what is able to be reclaimed and what needs to be set aside: repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, sin.
While the prophetic mantle of last year’s prayer focus might have been a difficult one for us to picture ourselves in, deep within we know that the reconciling life is required of us. During this year’s prayer focus, we will see ourselves over and over, more and more. Jesus the Reconciler is not out there and far away but right here beside us and within us. This will be a challenging year for our community…