Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. —Ephesians 6:18
The word radical isn’t as dangerous as it sounds. It comes from the Latin radix, meaning “root,” the same as radish, which isn’t particularly revolutionary. It refers to going deep, which is what I try to do. I want to get at the root of Christianity, which for me, is Jesus’s teachings on love and inclusiveness. It’s about the poor being able to lead decent lives. It’s about caring for those who suffer. And it’s about justice. I believe Jesus calls on us all to be mystics—that is, lovers of God, of creation, and of each other—but also to be prophets or warriors, people who defend what we cherish.
I’m drawn to the mystics: Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, and the historical Jesus. The mystics are also prophets, however, when they disturb the peace. It’s part of the tradition. Jesus got into trouble; Meister Eckhart got into trouble; Hildegard got into trouble; Martin Luther King Jr. got into trouble.
Rabbi Abraham Heschel, who was a real scholar of the prophetic, said that the primary work of a prophet is to interfere. We need to interfere with injustice—whether it’s ecological, economic, racial, gender-based, or social.
So to be radical means to go deep, the way roots go deep, but also to “uproot,” to question whether we’re doing enough to bring about justice. —Matthew Fox, Sun Magazine, July 2015
May I sink down deep into your spirit, rooted. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster