On Friday I had the opportunity of praying the Sabbath with the people of Temple Shalom. It was a beautiful experience of prayer and community, the people welcoming me with open arms. Part of the service included a rite of commitment by a young man entering the Jewish faith. I was privileged to be part of his journey.
But the irony of the experience was that we both met a couple of years ago at St. Teresa’s. He would come to St Teresa’s on occasion as he explored religion and his experience of God. After one if his visits , he left a beautiful origami shaped crane( the bird) in front if the tabernacle. Inside the crane was a prayer for Peace, a passion of his. I remember finding this “crane of prayer” and wondered who created it and left it for me to have a moment of joy. Here I am in a Temple, a fellow pilgrim on a journey of faith, being able to witness his moment of commitment and belonging. Once again, there are no coincidences in life. I was meant to be there.
Sitting in Temple Shalom on a cold and dreary Friday allowed me to be swept up by ancient prayers and song. We are all “pilgrims” walking at different places on one path, all leading to the same destination. We Catholics tend to be unaware of the Jewish identity of Jesus. Yes, we all know he was a Jew but have little clue as to the Jewish and Hebrew world that shaped his humanity. Out prayer of Eucharist is rooted in Jewish prayer and ritual. Jesus lived and breathed in a world that united body and soul and saw the beauty of the created world. Due to heavy influences of Greek philosophy, we tend to divide the world in which we live so that the invisible takes precedence over the visible. The foundation for understanding the Scriptures must be in the Hebrew world vision if the meaning of the Word is to have any impact on our lives.
Somehow, God invaded my memory last Friday evening through a beautiful paper crane. There is a parable in here somewhere. Peace and Burn Camino. Fr. Frank
One thought on “Sabbath Prayer. Sept. 14, 2014”
Thanks for this refreshing reflection. I am a Christian Chaplain in a large retirement community. I find myself ministering to people of all religious traditions and faith backgrounds. Sometimes my chapel services are attended by residents of traditions other than Christian. One day a Jewish resident asked me to offer him Communion. This was a matter I was not prepared for. I told him that I would need to meet with him and discuss his request. At the meeting he was brief and to the point – Jesus was Jewish – Communion was first celebrated at the Passover meal – Jesus’ disciples at that meal were Jewish – he was Jewish – he wanted Communion. Although not an “orthodox” request, he had made a valid point. I prayed about it, and later offered him Communion. When I offered him the host I said, “The bread of God – the manna from heaven.” He replied, “Amen.” Deep in my soul I know I did the right thing.
Thanks for your post Fr. Frank!