By Benoni Silva-Netto
Many childhood memories fill the cloistered spaces of my consciousness with genuine joy and great thanksgiving. Growing up as a preacher’s kid, the ritual of early Sunday mornings included my father’s compelling voice saying, “It’s time to go to church.” For a long time I thought that my father got carried away in his religious practices. But in retrospect I realize that those invitations to “go to the house of the Lord” have directed my journey to the holy land, the places of sacred worship.
I became more profoundly and genuinely aware of the fact that God has over and over and in many different ways sought to converse with me. And when I enter the place of sacred worship, the meaningful conversations became occasions for significant conversations. Awareness has led to preparation. The awareness of God’s presence empowers the transformation of how I prioritize my values, how I organize my relationships, how I discern my ultimate and significant concerns.
In this place of sacred worship “my heart can leap for joy,” as the psalmist affirms, because God knows me more fully than I know myself. God knows the thoughts of my mind, the pains in my heart, the burdens on my shoulder, the tangled relationships I often find myself enmeshed in even before I can articulate them.
SUGGESTION FOR MEDITATION:
What attitude and feeling do you have when you prepare for worship? What do you anticipate? With whom are you bound in worship? With whom do you stand in solidarity? Before you attend worship again, consider these questions and be glad as you go in the presence of grace.
0 Divine Redeemer, make the mundane places of our lives sacred, the ordinary activities holy, the common relationships occasions for holy communion through your grace and your presence. Amen.