Jesus’ Passion, Our Passion Written by Amity Carrubba ESC staff
Today, Holy Saturday, is an unusual day. Today begins with Jesus buried in the tomb, bound by cloth and stone. Today concludes with release, Resurrection, and some confusion about what to do next. On Holy Saturday, God moves us from death to Resurrected life, from brokenness to wholeness.
The term ‘Passion’ is used in the church to refer to Jesus Christ’s trial, crucifixion, and death. It comes from the Latin pati, to suffer. Jesus’ Passion was his suffering on the cross, his offering of love through pain and loss. Like so much about the spiritual life, there is paradox in Passion. For Jesus, his Passion was suffering, so that our passion might be life.
Ever hear the expression ‘a passion for life’? Perhaps someone commenting on another’s zeal for living or claiming their own. A passion for life is a very different experience from Jesus’ own Passion, yet both are rooted in the same soil… both speak to an intense enthusiasm for joy and love. Jesus lived with such an intense enthusiasm for others and for God, that it led to his Passion. On our best days, Jesus’ Passion inspires
Reflection on Passion Written by Sarah Nolan Jubilee EUIP alum
“God of gift and abundance, Jesus took up the cross so that a broken system could be transformed.
The year I served as an intern with the Episcopal Urban Intern Program (EUIP) in Inglewood, CA, was the first time I walked “The Way of the Cross” (Stations of the Cross). Housed in the multicultural and multilingual community of Holy Faith Church, Good Friday’s Passion service engaged both my limited fluency in Spanish and even more limited fluency in this unique liturgical world. It was the beginning of a love affair with liturgy as movement and a re-telling/framing of our sacred stories.
Yet, the crosses we bear in our food system perpetuate its brokenness.
Five years later, on April 22, Good Friday and Earth Day aligned…something that will not occur again until 2095. By this time, I was working as the Program Director for the ESC intern program, The Abundant Table. Along with fellow EUIP alumna the Rev. Julie Morris and our interns, we asked what would it look like to not only re-frame the telling of the Passion, but express “The Way of the Cross,” through the eyes of environmental
A Passion for Words Written by Dane Miller New York Disaster Response Program corps member
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
When you graft, you take tissue from two similar specimens to form a new plant, retaining features of both. This possibility of synergistic growth is present in language too. Take the word grave: it suggests something serious, something that weighs down, gravity. It also suggests burial in the ground. Here words of French and Germanic root placed in relationship lend themselves to deeper meaning. We are weighed down when Jesus is laid in the grave.
Take the word cross: as a verb it suggests movement. It can mean movement against- in the Gospel Judas crosses Jesus – but it can also mean movement through
Passion for Finding Christ in Community and Service Written by Kevin Smallwood Lawrence House Service corps member
Words have meaning, they sometimes give direction, they can be ambiguous, or definite but most importantly they have power embedded within them. For this reason I want to clearly define how the word passion will be used and approached within this reflection. The first definition of word will be used to relate to the passion, or suffering of Jesus Christ as it reveals his humility, sacrifice and love; the second will refer to a strong fondness or enthusiasm for something or someone.
In celebrating Maundy Thursday, Jesus washing his disciple’s feet and his partaking in last supper with his disciples are two significant events that happen before his passion, or suffering, on the cross. Today our world is full of the promotion and embodying of self-interest, you can see it on reality television where lies, greed, illusions, and betrayal thrive as themes for entertainment and even in our institutions where boundaries have been drawn between “us” and “them”. This is exactly the opposite of what Christ taught us in his last days. By washing the feet of one whom he already knew would
Passion and Vocation: A Reflection On My Year Of Service Written by Dan Rocklin Creating for a Cause alum
When I was asked to reflect on my experience in the Episcopal Service Corp in relation to the theme of passion, I anticipated a challenge. I am, by nature, not the type of person who gets extremely passionate. I am typically pretty calm, and tend to express enthusiasm for things with muted grunts or subtle head nods.
That being said, there are endeavors in my life that I am passionate about, even if my outward emotions would suggest otherwise. My year in the Episcopal Service Corps allowed me to deepen and discover my passion for creative work. My Episcopal Service Corps program, “Creating For a Cause” paired each volunteer with a non-profit organization in a role that would make use of our creative skills. I was lucky enough to be paired with an organization called Living Compass, and was delighted to contribute to their mission of developing and distributing a wellness curriculum. My favorite duty was the layout of long curriculum documents and the creation of promotional materials. For example, a typical day might have involved the creation of a “meme”
Reflection on Passion Written by Elena Rivera Johnson Service Corps member
Passion is a call to action. The story of Palm Sunday is one of people putting their passion into action, in all the ways that looked back then. In actuality, the story of the disciples from the beginning of their journeys until this moment was one of action: the passion they felt for Jesus’ mission called them to leave their well-established lives, the comfort of their homey realities, to venture into something mysterious, new and important. Their passion for the mission grew as they journeyed with Jesus, learning about the heart of God manifested in the teachings and miracles they witnessed. Even when Jesus asked them to do things that seemed impossible, like feeding five thousand with a few loaves and fish, or traveling on stormy and turbulent waters, the disciples’ passion carried them through their doubt.
The story of Palm Sunday as told through Mark Chapter 11 shows the example of passion as a call to action in two ways: with the disciples, and with the people witnessing Jesus’ procession. With the disciples, Jesus asked them to find a donkey to use to travel into Jerusalem. This request
A Frightening Privilege Written by The Reverend Richard Lawson and The Reverend Sandy Webb City of Soul: The Episcopal Service Corps in Memphis program directors
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there will my servant be also.
The disciples meet Jesus on the quiet shores of Galilee. Following Jesus is easy at Galilee, where he spends his time preaching and teaching and walking on the water. Discipleship means intellectual conversation and your fill of fish and bread.
Jerusalem is a very different place. Discipleship in Jerusalem means looking poverty square in the face. Discipleship means exorcising the world’s demons. Discipleship means standing in the gap between what is and what can be, demanding that the world live into its potential.
The hard part about following is that we don’t get to lead. When Jesus’ work is in Jerusalem, his servants cannot stay in Galilee. Discipleship is a frightening privilege: We get to walk with Jesus, but we have to go where he goes.
Episcopal Service Corps interns follow Jesus to Jerusalem. They leave behind the comforts of home and proclaim Good News in the parts of our country most devoid of light. They know
Discipleship: A Leader Follows Written by Carolyn Fado Grace-on-the-Hill corps member
I am participating in the Grace-on-the-Hill program and my worksite is Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School (AJCES) in the East End of Richmond. It is in a low-income and underprivileged area, in the midst of housing projects. A few shootings happen in the area every year. The public schools here are unaccredited. At AJCES, every student who attends receives a full scholarship. The school gives the students the opportunity to get a better education and therefore succeed. I was particularly attracted to this position because I thought it would be a good opportunity to help others. After all, isn’t that what being a good Christian disciple, or even just a good person, is all about?
Let’s take a minute to talk about what being a disciple means. To someone like me, the word seems archaic. Being a disciple means following the teaching of Christ. Jesus teaches us to treat our neighbors as we want to be treated ourselves. We can extend neighbors to mean all humans. Briefly, I believe that following Jesus means recognizing that everyone has God’s spirit.
When I think about discipleship, there is also a voice
Reflection on Discipleship Written by Melanie Williams Confluence Year corps member
My senior year of college, a well-loved professor asked me what I felt I must do. Not what I felt obligated to do because of forces outside of myself, but what I felt I must do because it was something that claimed me. Because it was an unavoidable part of myself, which when denied, cried out to be recognized and acted upon. Because it was as necessary to me as breathing. I had to think about it for some time. I’m not always sure if I have a thing like this. But after a while I answered, “I must be with those who suffer.” And after another moment, “Also, I must dance.”
Something we talked about often that year was a practice of holding grief and joy in the same breath. I see this practiced every week within the various congregations of St. John’s in Franklinton where we sing praises to God after gathering prayer requests about loved ones who have cancer, are imprisoned, suffer hunger, are homeless, have died. I see it in my work place when I hear the stories of refugees who have been forced to
Reflection on Discipleship Written by Sarah Hill SSJE Monastic Internship Program corps member
I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to write a Lenten reflection during the fifth week of Lent, using the theme of discipleship. I write as a member of the SSJE Monastic Intern program in Boston, MA.
The Brothers of SSJE often speak of the idea of “conversion”. When I first heard this term, I was confused because I assumed that the men choosing to live in a monastery had already been “converted”. What are they being converted to if they are Christians? These men were already followers of Christ in the most explicit way; they had experienced conversion from life outside the Religious life and had subsequently committed to the vowed life.
However, thinking of conversion as an event assumes a single occurrence. Something that happened once, and is now in the past. Rather, the Brothers speak about ‘conversion’ as an active and ongoing process: the conversion of daily living. In each moment and in each breath, engaging in the process of becoming more fully the person that God created them to be. The person God calls each one of us to be. This type