Thursday, September 08, 2016

Shaken with joy

Luke 10:21 is one Gospel passage that is, for me, both challenging and encouraging.
Then and there Jesus celebrated in the holy spirit. “I thank you, Father,” he said, “Lord of heaven and earth! You hid these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to babies.” (N. T. Wright translation, The Kingdom New Testament)  
Reading Pat Farrell’s address to Leadership Conference of Women Religious a few weeks ago, I was struck by her translation of the first. The New American Bible translation is “he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.” But as she noted
The Spanish translation of this text prefaces Jesus’ words saying; “Jesús, movido por El Espíritu Santo, se estremeció de alegría y dijo…” In other words, Jesus, moved by the Spirit,” trembled with joy” or ”was shaken with joy” as he exclaimed…
The Greek has the sense of jumping for joy. But I love Pat’s translation since it helps me understand my experience.

During my ordination I was literally shaken with joy – amid tears of joy – on two occasions.

The first was while laying prostrate during the Litany of the Saints. I had a deep sense of being surrounded by the holy women and men whose intercession we sought. But after Monseñor Romero and Charles de Foucauld were mentioned the tears were flowing and my body was literally shaking.

Both of these twentieth century martyrs continue to inspire me – Romero by his commitment to the poor and his willingness to speak up and act, even at the cost of his life, Foucauld by his desire to be among the poor as a sign of God’s presence.

The second moment of the grace of being shaken by joy came during the prayer of consecration. I knelt before the bishop. After laying hands on me while he and the People of God prayed, Bishop Darwin Andino read the words of the consecration of the deacon. I had read it and prayed it several times, but I missed something.

In the prayer the bishop notes, as the English reads,
In the first days of your Church
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
the apostles of your Son appointed seven men of good repute
to assist them in the daily ministry,
so that they themselves might be more free for prayer and preaching.
By prayer and the laying on of the hands
the apostles entrusted to those chosen men the ministry of serving at tables.

But the Spanish has a very significant difference which moved me. Instead of reading “the apostles entrusted to those chosen men the ministry of serving at tables,” the Spanish reads, 
“los dedicaron al servicio de los pobres.’
The apostles dedicated these men to service of the poor.
My body was shaking as tears were welling up within me. I came to Honduras to serve God and those most in need. God was confirming this decision and, through the sacrament of orders, giving me the grace to deepen my commitment.

With joy I heard these words and I was shaken with joy.

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