Vocation Blog

Story:  The Passion that we read on Palm Sunday and during Holy Week calls us  to embrace our humanity.  We are called to allow hope to overwhelm the cynicism that so often creeps into our lives. 

            Bryan Stevenson says that “We are all broken by something.  We have all hurt someone and have been hurt.  We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.” (Just Mercy, p. 289).

            Steven is a young man who is a ward of the state (Department of Children and Family Services).  He sits in the Juvenile Detention Center for stealing a car. He tells me that he just wanted to leave his foster home in order to find his family. 

            After so many years, I’ll never get used to seeing a kid confined to his cell.  There he has been stripped of his clothing and any personal belongings, including his family.  So often there is just a hallowed look, a look of aloneness.  You walk by and see these young eyes peering out just to get a glimpse of something or someone outside that cell. 

        84% of the youth detained in Cook County Juvenile Detention Center are black.  14% are Latino and 2% are other. 

·        They are overwhelming poor – all coming from about eight communities on the west and south sides of Chicago. 

·        Most suffer from trauma (physical and mental) and a severe lack of resources. 

            A friend of mine visited the Precious Blood Center on the south side and spoke to some of the youth.  He witnessed how they were being stopped by the police just for walking in groups of two or three.  He saw how they were being put out of school when what they really needed was someone to listen to them.  He remarked, “This would never happen in my community.  There would be an uproar.  Their parents would cause a scene.”

Ckick below for:

Reflection

Scripture Passages to Reflect on Daiy

Lenten practices for this week

This Week’s Daily Prayer

This Week’s Point We recount the Passion so that we remember and connect the experience of Jesus with the experience of many who are disenfranchised and marginalized. 

 

Fr. Dave Kelly is a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and has worked with Kolbe House Jail Ministry for the past 30 years.  He is, also, director of the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, a restorative justice hub on the south side of Chicago.

For more information about Kolbe House, visit www.kolbehouseministry.org

Reflection:  Jesus is stripped of his clothing and paraded through the streets as a criminal.  He is on his crucifixion path – a cruel death, especially for one who has done no harm. 

 

            Each year we recount the same story – over and over and over.  We cannot forget.  But it is only a pageant unless we understand how Jesus is part of what is happening to our black and brown young men and young women.  Like Jesus, they are being labeled as the problem, where in reality they are so often the victim. 

 

            Holy Week and the passion of Jesus are not read just so we remember the price that Jesus paid for our sinfulness.  We recount this story so that we remember and connect the experience of Jesus with the experience of many who are disenfranchised and marginalized. 

 

            The joy is that we celebrate that sin and death did not have the final word.  Jesus rises up and ushers in a new beginning with a hope that cannot be quieted. 

 

            It is that hope, that reality that sustains me when things seem as though they are hopeless -- even when seemingly defeated, a resurrection moment happens. 

 

            It encourages me to keep getting up so that I can witness the glory of the resurrection. 

 

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Scripture Passages To Reflect On This Week

     Isaiah 29:13-24

     Hosea 6:1-6

     Ezekiel 16:59-63

     John 20:24-29

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Lenten Practices for This Week

 

•     Open yourself to those who are marginalized and labeled as the problem.  Say hello to someone who you might not ordinarily speak to.  Drop a coin into someone’s cup and remember that person is someone’s brother/sister/child.  Allow it to transform you, even if you are not sure what they will use it for. 

 

•    Pray for the families of those who have died through violence. 

 

•     Do a random act of kindness.

 

•     Visit the Precious Blood Center at 5114 S. Elizabeth St, Chicago. 

      For more information, call  1-773-952-6643

 

•     Review your copy  of Just Mercy and read what you wrote in your journal during this retreat.  

    Write a list of actions you can take this year that would be merciful.  Resolve to do three of them before Advent starts in 2016.

 

 

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This Week’s Daily Prayer

 

Prayer to Make a Difference

 

Loving and merciful God,

You call us into being

and commission us

to serve Your people.

 

We pray that our lives

might make a difference

and that our service

may give You glory.

 

Strengthen us, we pray,

to be instruments

of peace and justice

in our church and in our world.

May the desire to make a difference

inspire many to lives of ministry

in Your church.

 

We pray in Jesus’ name.

Amen. 

******

 

This Week’s Point:  We recount the Passion so that we remember and connect the experience of Jesus with the experience of many who are disenfranchised and marginalized. 

 

Dave Kelly is a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and has worked with Kolbe House Jail Ministry for the past 30 years.  He is, also, director of the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, a restorative justice hub on the south side of Chicago.

 

******

For more information about Kolbe House, visit www.kolbehouseministry.org

VOCATION DIRECTOR
FR. TIMOTHY MONAHAN

 

 

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