Two call stories that continue to shape my life

I wake up in a holding cell
Ten feet deep into the ground.
Jesus sits across from me.
How could they have arrested this man?
I was there when he
Proclaimed a year of favor
Healed the sick
Restored sight to the blind
Raised Lazarus
Made communities whole again.
I tell Jesus, “I want to know you.”
He responds, “You are in the right place.”
With him. In prison.
I go back to this holding cell, again and again.
To meet him – in David, Robert, Khalil, Anabel.

I walk into the church, sit down, open the program.
Presider: Bishop Joan Houk
My first thought: I shouldn’t be here!
My second thought: I’m so glad I’m here!
Janine is here.
She is alive – in light, dance, music.
Tears flow.
Five days earlier, she died of colon cancer.
In five weeks as a priest, she was too sick to celebrate Mass.
Bishop Joan begins,
“Janine planned this liturgy as her First Mass.
And all of you are concelebrating with her.”
Tears flow.
God is showing me what the church will be.
It is Good News – a gift to share with the world.

5 thoughts on “Two call stories that continue to shape my life

  1. Thank you, Luke. You spoke in our learning group earlier today about the sense of risk and fear that is present as you think about taking the concrete next step of having some key conversations. As you I read about the witness of Janine’s courage in stepping outside of her prescribed role, of the many you have accompanied in ministry that have impacted you, like David, Robert, Khalil, Anabel, and those described in last week’s post, I am struck by how God consistently shows up in your life so tangibly and powerfully in your experiences in ministry.

    I wonder if these people you have named might be a cloud of witnesses for you in this moment as you prepare to step into deeper vulnerability and new exploration. What graces have they embodied that you want to “call in” for yourself in this moment? How does their witness strengthen you and offer you accompaniment as you prepare to move into retreat and more focused time for discernment and prayer?

  2. These are very powerful testimonies of encounter and accompaniment. I’m very grateful for how you are leading in our church and in this space.

    I’m eager to hear more about how these call stories are calling you now. Are there any half-baked or persistent ideas that keeping coming up for you? What is God‘s revealing to you about God’s dream for our church?

    If you had a magic wand, what would you do?

  3. Dear Luke,
    I think I remember that cell from my trip to Jerusalem. It’s so amazing where Jesus calls us to meet him. I remember the light in that cell was golden. Would love to hear you preach about what you have heard.

    How blessed to concelebrate Janine’s first mass as mass of resurrection. I guess the comfort is knowing that she will forever concelebrate with you at all your masses– an angel truly by your side always. What liturgy will you create in her memory??

  4. I am so grateful for your witness in these concrete stories and in their implications. Even as I take much solace from your place in the institution and eye towards inclusion and justice and the Beloved Community, I’m saddened that it’s so rare. Grateful for the gift that you are to the Jesuits, the church, and all of us as you walk the walk.

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