Last weekend, a parishioner asked if I could print my homily in the bulletin since it inspired him. The Homily began with a quote from Amanda Gorman’s poem “Hymn for the Hurting”. It is the 24 year old poet’s reflections on living in these times of violence, war, and pandemic.
“Everything hurts,” Amanda Gorman writes. “Our hearts shadowed, and strange, / Minds made muddled and mute. / We carry tragedy, terrifying and true. / And yet none is new.”
The challenge, she notes is that “while hate cannot be terminated, it can be transformed / into a love that lets us live. May we not just grieve, but give; / May we not just ache, but act; / May our signed right to bear arms / Never blind our sight from shared harm; / May we choose our children over chaos, / May another innocent never be lost.”
Amanda Gorman concludes her “Hymn for the Hurting:” “Maybe everything hurts / May everything change.”
If we are serious about wanting to become one with Christ, we must identify, heart and soul, with His ministry of reconciliation. Without exception, we must relate to each other in a way that says, you are my brother in Christ; you are my sister in Christ. God created us in His image and saw that it was good. If we are serious about wanting to become one with Christ, we must relate to each other in a way that says, “I want to help bring out the best in you.”
We are a hurting community and nation; we struggle to make sense out of the anger and violence surrounding us. As we pray for healing and peace and mourn the many lives that we have lost, we must acknowledge and be moved by wisdom and truth.
So may we embrace Jesus’ challenge in today’s Gospel; to let our hearts lead us to change: transforming our grief into hope, our fears into healing, our anger into justice.