The opening celebration of The Seminary here in Toronto will not soon be forgotten. And one of the most significant moments at that special happening was, as we all sang Amazing Grace, most everyone stood up, standing to recognizing something holy…it was like a modern-day revival here in this building!

Also, every time we celebrate The Act of Consecration, we stand for the gospel reading, recognizing its holiness. In life, we take-a-stand for something and we stand-up for someone when it is justified. We stand up when we wake up in the morning and we stand up when we greet one another. It is connected to the core of what it means to be human to stand when we recognize what is holy and true.

And yet, in our gospel this week (Lk 21), we are also called to recognize what is scary and difficult. We are called to straighten ourselves up and lift our heads to the fear and anxiety that is taking hold of humanity, arising in our own hearts. But lifting our heads to these signs of darkness is not meant so that we get lost in them or be overcome with fear. We are called to lift our heads to the darkness in us so that we can become strong. Not a strength that condemns the darkness, not a strength that defeats the darkness…We are called to become strong to recognize the light in the darkness. A strong heart is one that can stand before His light shining in the darkness.

It is deeply comforting to feel that our task as human beings is simply to stand; to stand with and bear the darkness until it reveals its hidden light. Our times call us to simply stand before a light that is already here, hidden. For truly, in the darkness of our souls, The Son of Man lives in each and every one of us.

Dear friends, when we stand before one another, when we come face to face with each other, may we have the strength to stand upright before the Son of Man.
Contemplation by Rev. Jonah Evans