Those gathered at St. Leo’s Church in Tacoma today focused on what it means to be missioned. We celebrated the prophetic mission of nuclear disarmament, affirmed our own call to work for nonviolence, and knelt in self-reflection before the God of Peace alongside those preparing for baptism and confirmation in the Catholic church.
The congregation met Father Pat Lee’s opening cry of “NO MORE WAR!” with resounding applause and a standing ovation.
“God is not about war,” Father Lee continued. “Throughout the ages, God wants peace.” Today’s scripture readings recalled how God sent the Israelites water in the desert; the Samaritan woman at the well asked Jesus to give her living water. Here in Puget Sound, Father Lee said, we have turned our life-giving water into death-giving water. “We need to listen to what God wants… our God is a God of life. War and nuclear weapons represent death.”
Father Lee reflected on the position of a prophet, and what a challenging role it is to embrace. Prophets open themselves before God in full recognition their humanity, and yet before the people, they are God’s voice. Prophets are taken into the courts, just as Jesus was.
Father Lee called on Anne, Bix, Lynne, Steve, and Susan to pray for the jailers and pray for those in jail. He asked them to continue to be the bearers of light, peace, and life in prison that they are outside of prison.
After an emotional celebration of the Eucharist, Father Lee missioned Steve and Bix as Jesuits to witness to the love and peace of God in federal prison. Sister Frances Tobin delivered a blessing on behalf of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Anne’s community. Then all of us raised our hands in blessing over the five. In the name of all the people of St. Leo’s Parish, Father Steve Lantry anointed each of the members of Disarm Now Plowshares and commissioned them to this new work in their lives.
Chrissy, for Disarm Now Plowshares
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