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A Jubilee Preaching

Delivered at the Congregation's June 2024 Community Days Mass

Sr. Carol Davis, OP
Golden Jubilarian

Maya Angelou, in her book, Wouldn’t take Nothing for My Journey Now shares her vision of Mamma, her grandmother.

Mamma was a tall woman, with skin the color of cinnamon, whose voice was deep and soft.  Mamma stands thousands of feet in the air… standing on nothing visible.

Mamma could stand tall, expressing her full 6 feet, clasping her hands behind her, tilt her head to the sky and say, “I will step out on the word of God.”

This single, black woman, raising her disabled son and two grandchildren during the Depression, would make her statement of faith frequently.   This is no small thing.  Maya says Mamma would “will herself into the heavens and tell her family in particular and the world in general, “I will step out on the word of God, I will step out on the word of God.”

Immediately Maya saw her “flung into space, moons at her feet and stars at her head, comets swirling around her.”

As Dominicans, and as consecrated people, when we step out on that word, we are invited to be transformed as well as to be held up by the word.  We are invited to be and become a holy preaching that provides witness and invitation to others. 

This morning, we step out on the word of God that comes to us from Job.  We are invited to humility.   “Who shut within doors the sea when it burst forth from the womb… shall your proud waves be stilled!”  We are invited to know our limits, to respect boundaries.  I like the word humility, meaning truth.  Learn and know the truth of self… know yourself… know ourselves… continue to learn the unfolding truth.  And let’s do it with a sense of humor.  Today, we accept the invitation to step out on the word of God expressed in humility… truth… humor.

In Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth, we are invited to step out on the word of Love.  The powerful word of God that is alive and active, impels us to be transformed in Jesus the Christ.  Jesus, the One who was breathed out from the Source of all Life and Love… God breathed out a promise to be with us in all things.  In that human experience, Jesus, gathered all sin, all the missing of the mark of who we are called to be, … Jesus, gathered all pain, longing, joy and sorrow of the human heart… of all human hearts… into his heart…. Gathered it all into his heart and brought it home, through his life and death, brought it home to the heart of God, to the heart of the Divine.

And so, we, who are invited to step out on this word of God are impelled by the Love of the Christ, to be and become Love incarnate, a love that reaches out to others within and beyond ourselves in all our human frailty and giftedness.

We dare to step out on the word of God, in humility and love.

In our Gospel from Mark, we are invited to step out in trust.  We step out on the word of God in trust.  We trust in the love and care of God, we trust there is a bigger picture that we are not able to see all at once.

In the storms of life, how do you respond?  At sea with Jesus asleep in the boat, would you wake him?  For me it depends on the day.  I have cried out that profound one-word prayer,  “HELP”.  I could yell, “Wake up” to Jesus.  In truth, sometimes I am the one who needs to “Wake up.”   The older I get, I recognize that I have found myself carried by your prayer in community… the prayer of others carries us.  Also, the older I get, the storms within myself are fewer and that helps me to navigate the storms of life. 

Perhaps, too, there is an invitation in this gospel passage, to courage, to feel the uncertainty, to acknowledge fear and to proceed anyway.  The root of the word courage is cor – heart.

Today we are invited to step out whole-heartedly on the word of God expressed in humility, love and trust.   

This morning, we give thanks for the everlasting Love of the Eternal One who has invited us to this amazing journey together.


Preaching Notes June 23, 2024
Job 38:1, 8-11
Response:  Give thanks to the Lord whose love is everlasting
Corinthians 5:14-17
Mark 4:35-41

3 thoughts on “A Jubilee Preaching

  1. Grateful, Carol for your heartfelt reflection spoken in truth and love. A joyful jubilee year to you!


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