Where Does it Hurt?
I’ve been learning to let this question guide me—in ministry, in social justice work.
It’s easy to get lost in the grandeur of this week’s readings.
It’s easy to get caught up in the language.
We could miss Christ’s presence.
Here he is: Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Coming on the clouds of heaven
Robed in majesty
The Alpha and the Omega
Here he is: King of the Jews.
Disrobed, shackled, beaten, dejected
Our Lord and Savior
Here he is: our friend, Jesus.
Making himself known to us
Revealed through Scripture
Our joy, mercy and peace
In our story today, I imagine Jesus full of sorrow and disappointment as he says,
But as it is, my kingdom is not here
Entering the Gospel today, I feel that sorrow and disappointment.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over…
To detention centers
Or juvenile hall
To the tent beneath the overpass
Or just outside the bomb’s reach
To war’s violence
Or hunger’s pain
When we witness those around us handed over to unjust suffering, it is easy to get caught up.
As Christians, we live in the world of “already but not yet.” Sometimes this place of liminality feels frustratingly nonsensical. The kingdom we are called to create and inhabit is maddeningly imperfect and largely unfinished. We are called to be of this world, active and committed disciples of Christ. And yet, we are not to be conformed to this world. We let ourselves be moved by the beauty and terror of the world around us. We let ourselves be touched by the love and suffering of Christ and Christ’s people. We let ourselves fall in love with God, God’s world and God’s people. And somehow we cannot let ourselves fall into despair, apathy and cynicism. We hope faithfully; we love mercifully; we walk boldly and humbly with our God.
Discipleship calls us to go to where it hurts
Because there we find Christ in our midst, who answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.”
Let us pray that we may belong to the truth that is, was and is to come,
Accompanying one another with courage and humility
Let us pray that we may listen to the voice
speaking to us in the depths of our being
resounding in the priesthood of the faithful.
Let us pray that we may testify to the truth.
Maddie LaForge, M.Div., is a New Orleans native, currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She teaches religious studies at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. Her love for the classroom goes back to her time as a Jesuit Volunteer at Colegio Miguel Pro in Tacna, Peru. Maddie is a graduate of Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology and Spring Hill College.