Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who's got a car to spare?

As many of you are aware, Amate House relies on the generous donations of friends and supporters to keep our program running. While we are always happy to receive financial gifts, we are also appreciative of in-kind donations as well.

With that being said, we're wondering if anyone would have a vehicle that would available for donation. Many of our volunteers rely on Amate House vehicles to get to and from their service site, and we've recently had an unfortunate spat of car troubles that has depleted our fleet significantly.

If you (or anyone you know) would like to make an in-kind, tax-deductible donation of a vehicle, please call Ryan at 773.376.2445 or email him at Thanks!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Peace Be With You

The following is a reflection by Ryan Lents, Program and Recruitment Coordinator.

Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

- John 20:19-23

What fears are present in your life? If you’re anything like me, your fears can be incredibly disabling and limiting. So much of our actions and energies can be spent on protecting ourselves from what we fear. It could be the fear of rejection; fear of failure; the fear of illness or death (ours or someone we love); fear of disappointment; fear about the brokenness of our world. Sometimes it seems the best option is to retreat into our shells – there’s just too much pain and suffering awaiting us.

When we read this past Sunday’s Gospel, this same fear is very much present in the lives of the Apostles. Their friend has been arrested, humiliated, brutally tortured, and killed by the powers that be. This man they had come to know and love, Jesus, had been their great hope and source of guidance, and now he’s dead and gone. It’s easy to understand why they are in hiding in the upper room with the doors locked. It’s easy to understand their fear.

Suddenly, the resurrected Jesus comes and stands in their midst, saying, “Peace be with you.” Can we even imagine the joy the Apostles must have felt in this moment? Perhaps we can. See, Jesus appeared to the Apostles in the upper room on that Easter Sunday, but he also meets each of us today, in the upper rooms of our fearful hearts. It’s an open invitation to enter into a relationship with God. He shows us the wounds in his hands and side. Yes, death and defeat are part of our lives. Yes, the world is broken. Lucky for us, that’s not the end of the story, and fear and death do not have the final word.

And just as the Apostles were called to receive the Holy Spirit and forgive others, so too are we commissioned to break free of our fears and live out that radical form of love that Christ has modeled for us. Reach out to the broken and hardened hearts that are present in our families and communities. Practice mercy and forgiveness, especially during the times that we feel least inclined to do so. Understand it will be a difficult, painful road…we need not look further than the wounds in Jesus’ hands and side. But we are an Easter people, and death and fear will not have the final word.

Peace be with you.