(But first a word, or two, from Joe Power-Drutis)
#1 – Bix has recently consented to being released from the SeaTac Federal Detention Center earlier than his scheduled release date. He is to be released from SeaTac on Jan 10th and transferred to the Federal Progress House in Tacoma, not far from our home.
Though the reason for the early release is not entirely clear, it is not for health reasons. In truth he is in very good health. This period of incarceration has been very different than when he went in on March 28th of this year. He went in feeling well and has used his time to rest, read, write and meditate. In all, he has used his time much the same as we would if we were going on a long retreat. And – because he has regularly eaten 3 meals a day, he has actually put on a few pounds; and not just sugar weight either – he looks and sounds good.
Because he has agreed to go to Progress House, it is his understanding that he will be released from his overall sentence 9 days early; therefore, he should be returning to Jeans House of Prayer sometime around and 1st or 2nd of February – rather than the prescheduled date of Feb 10 or 11.
#2 – An Advent message from Bix. Through absolutely no fault of my own, as most folks know I am generally faultless, I am getting this out to you barely a month late, so lets call this Bix’s New Years Message of Hope. Of course Leonard Eiger got this out in the Disarm Now website back in the day; but, he is all over stuff like this and of course that is why he is paid the really big bucks!! [Note from Leonard: Just for the record (and in the immortal words of Richard Milhous Nixon), “I am not a crook.” However, contributions to the Itinerant Blog Editors Retirement and Slush Fund are always welcome. DO NOT click here to contribute.]
Bix’s New Years Message of Hope
December 2nd marked the 31st anniversary of the four US churchwomen
martyrs, slain in El Salvador. Lay Missionary Jean Donovan, Ursuline
sister Dorothy Kazel and Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford,
gave their lives that the light of Christ might shine unto the gloom
and darkness of this world.
I am struck by how the themes of light and blindness shine out so
brightly in the scripture readings.
In the first reading, Is. 29: 17-24 it is written: “On that day the
deaf shall hear the words of a scroll, and out of their gloom and
darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see.”
The responsorial psalm, Ps. 27, begins: “The Lord is my light and
salvation, whom shall I fear?”
The gospel, Mt. 9: 27-31, is about the two blind men who come to Jesus
to be given sight.
What strikes me first about the gospel is Jesus asking them: “… do you
believe I am able to do this?” It’s like he needs and wants their
affirmation. Through their faith he brings about what they deeply
want. They become signs and messengers of the healing work of Jesus
which comes to them through their faith.
This teaching and healing event of Jesus moved me to put his question
“Do you believe I am able to do this?” explicitly in other events and
healings in his life.
To the woman taken in adultery (Jn. 8: 1-11) his words can be: “Do you
believe I am able to stop the capital punishment imposed on you?” To
us in the 21st century his words could be: “Do you believe I will work
with you to eliminate the death penalty?”
To Peter, whom Jesus told to put away his sword (Jn. 18: 11) his words
could be: “Peter do you believe I can call you out of your violence to
be a person of non violence?” To us today his words could be: “Do you
believe that I can teach you to be non-violent? Do you believe I will
work with you to teach others to do away with weapons? Do you believe
I will work with you to teach universities to give up training for war
by eliminating ROTC programs? Do you believe that I am able to work
with you to eliminate nuclear weapons?”
To the rich young man whom Jesus counseled to give his wealth to the
poor and follow him (Mk. 10: 17-22), and who was not able to follow
Jesus because of his riches, Jesus’ words could be: “Your riches hold
you and people who need help in bondage; unless you can let go, you
will not be free or be able to share the richness of the human
community.” To us, in our day, Jesus’ words could be: “Do you believe
that I am able to accompany you on a journey in which you give up
status and privilege and work to resist forces and policies which
deprive people of a full human life?”
In the stillness and early shadows of Advent, the faithfulness and
blood of the four churchwomen and the restored sight of the two blind
men open my awareness to the presence of the Spirit.
The Spirit’s presence comes with energy and life-generating power
which circulates hope and light in which we can walk. We can walk
through fences, over borders, through Wall Street and Lockheed Martin,
through Grumman and Boeings, through a corporate-person Supreme Court,
through a bought out legislative body, and a sold out administrative
head. All of this energy can come to us in the stillness of night.
It’s the time of stillness, the time when we are aware that the
promise of Peace can come to us in the night. And – all of this is
free. We don’t earn it. We can be quiet and be open to it.