4.03.2016

THE WORK OF RESURRECTION: WALKING THROUGH WALLS

THE WORK OF RESURRECTION: WALKING THROUGH WALLS.
We Christians get all excited about Easter and the Resurrection and rightly so. The death and resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of our faith. But what happens after Easter Sunday? The Gospel passage today makes it clear. After Jesus' resurrection he got to work. He went walking through walls of fear and bringing peace. If we say we follow the original demolition man himself -Jesus, then we have work to do. Today, let's do some knocking down of social barriers. Let's walk through some walls of prejudice. Let's bring some peace to a world huddled in the corner of anxiety and fear. May it be so.

3.24.2016

HOLY WEEK: A REFLECTION ON POLITICS AND THE DEATH OF JESUS

HOLY WEEK: A REFLECTION ON POLITICS AND THE DEATH OF JESUS
Holy Week and Christ is killed again. This time in Brussels.
Before that - Syria, Paris, New York, Somalia, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq...
Over and over and over again that beautiful body is torn. Those lovely eyes forever closed.
What of his hopes and dreams? What of his love?
Can we bear the weight of his fallen form?
Or will we, from fear and pain, choose to crucify those who pounded nails through one we loved?
And then what?
Shall we embark on a never ending cosmic crucifixion, in which the collateral damage includes
The loss of our own integrity?
Shall we elect those leaders who foam revenge on the other and threaten greater control over their own people?
Shall we continue to support our politicians whose investments profit from the death of this world?
No. We shall not. No. We dare not.
Instead may we look to the earth , to those grace-filled trees, to mountains that have outlasted centuries of war.
Seeing with new-born eyes the way things grow.
All things and all people everywhere.
And ask the question within:
What seeds have we planted to grow such strange fruit?
Look to the roots , to richer soil and see
What seeds there are for trees of life to grow and be.

2.27.2016

LAMENT FOR THE WORLD

LAMENT FOR THE WORLD. There are times when we need to weep and wail, to storm and rage and to do so in a community of mutual trust. It does us good. Here is a communal lament for the suffering of this world. Listen closely ( headphones best) at the beginning for actual reports of violence around the globe. We begin with the Irish vocable 'Ochone' and move to cry out 'Kyrie, Christe.'

https://soundcloud.com/mcfarlandp-1/ochon-a-lament 

2.26.2016

THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO

THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO. Last night I shared some music in a gathering that I hadn't been with in about a year. A lovely community mostly of Indian descent. Before we sang, a mom with her little boy came up to me. She said: "My son has been singing your song all the time this past year. He loves the Jaya, Jaya song!" His name is Krish, short for Krishna. I wish you could have seen the delight in the eyes of little Krishna when we stared to sing his favorite song. And so, this is why I do what I do. It's all about making the voyage, crossing bridges, and finding delight in the making of new friends on the other side.

2.21.2016

"RUN, JESUS, RUN... HIDE, JESUS, HIDE." A Reflection on Christianity and Politics

"RUN, JESUS, RUN...HIDE, JESUS, HIDE." This was the advice given Jesus back in the day when it became clear that his words and actions were a threat to the political, economic and religious establishment of the time. 'Don't get involved in politics', they said. " Just go along with things the way they are". " Don't say or do anything that would challenge the 1%". " We have a lovely liturgy and such beautiful music." In the end the Wall Street of the day -the powers that be- did destroy him but not before he began a movement that would from time to time break out in history to challenge any and all political, religious or economic systems that failed to be compassionate to the most vulnerable. So, the question is: where are we in all this today? Are we running and hiding from the social realities of our time? Or are we entering in specific ways and in deeper and deeper ways, the ongoing struggle for a more just society and a more compassionate community? 

12.18.2015

EVERY LINE SINGS OF HOPE

EVERY LINE SINGS OF HOPE. In the poem called, 'The Fountain', Denise Levertov manages in every line to sing of hope without ever mentioning the word once. Often in retreats I'll share this poem and we'll work with its' images comparing them to other poetic images in sacred texts and to the poetry of our lives. This poem is one of the first poems I memorized and comes back to me in times of darkness and despair.
‘The Fountain’ by Denise Levertov.
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.
I have seen
The fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes
found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.
The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched-but not because
she grudged the water,
only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were
refreshed.
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
That fountain is there among it’s scalloped
green and gray stones,
it is still there and always there
with it’s quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.
-Denise Levertov

12.14.2015

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

                                              COLLATERAL DAMAGE

It’s no longer just about them, you know, those nameless names that get in the way of our semi-accurate bombs and drones, or those children on the nightly news fleeing war or gunned down on our city streets.
Too bad. Sorry. What’s for lunch?
No, now, it’s about us. We are the ones. Really.
Yes, we the ones who are killed. Bombed, gunned down, droned and drowned sitting in our comfy living room chairs or standing at the kitchen counter.
When we do nothing, say nothing, think nothing, feel nothing about the vile and villainous doings in this world…
Every time that one of those nameless names is maimed or murdered and we carry on as though another atomic bomb did not just explode in our faces…
Then we die. A vital part of our precious humanity simply goes up in smoke.

But, cheer-up. It’s ok.  Keep watching. Post another selfie.  Sip a latte. Have a piece of pie.