CommunityI once read a blog that shared the life, through a personal journal, of the great-grandfather of the person who was producing the material online. In it the man walked all over where he lived, worked, shopped and went to church in Roanoke City (where I currently live), 100 years earlier. It was a walk back in time and a delight to read of places that have since changed, of old businesses and of a different way of life. It was exciting to read about places I had been and even in places where I worked.There was a lot that was different, between my time and his. Once he wrote of a time, everyone gathered when a local church burned. People were not there to watch it burn, but to gather to see one another in a time of loss. The were there to console one another and get to know who was impacted by the loss. This was not his church, but knew people who went there. He knew how it would feel to lose his home church. The thing that stood out to me, was they were not sitting at home watching it alone on the TV or streaming on a mobile device. They were there together.The other thing Bonnie, the man in the diary, did was attend different churches. He went to one in the morning and usually another one in the afternoon on Sunday. Then might go to a different one during the week. This was not just to attend another service, because he referenced going to visit with people or he went to hear different people speak. Recently I thought of this, as I spoke of a gathering we had once a month with a small group of Parrish members at a church we use to belong to. During these gatherings the host family shared their homes and lives. Each time offered an opportunity to learn. To learn how they lived prayed and an opportunity to share about our lives. It became more than about coffee and snacks after service, it was about becoming a part of one another’s lives. It felt different than meeting in a public place, because of the personal hospitality offered to us. In a time where there is immediate access to world events and community news, it is easy to lose the impact it makes on the communities we are a part of. Not just the community that is directly impacted, but of the loss of understanding how to empathetically connect to others. To share compassion and/or hospitality someone may offer or has offered us. This separation also makes it easier to feel one way is better than another way to believe in God, which only further isolates us.A spiritual home is more than a place to worship, it is a place to build community and a place to learn to be with one another. As we live with such diversity inside communion, we are able to learn more about the differences and similarities we hold. Then we learn how we can be present with one another. To learn how to accept things we cannot change and how to change things inside of ourselves when we can, as we become more fully present in our life and in the lives of others. The idea of community looks different for each of us. The feeling of community holds different types of connection. To be present in community also offers us an opportunity to to learn to be vulnerable in the unknown, as we learn to meet one another in that vulnerable space. This can help us deepen the faith we have in ourselves, which is also faith in God’s grace. Just as the colors of a rainbow blend into one another to make it whole, we can blend together to be whole.
July 20 is the day of celebration in the Episcopal Church for Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman.
This was released in the U.S. on July, 4th. In the U.S., it is the day of celebration of the Independence of the country. However, for the Saints this month, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman, they felt that independence excluded people. This is not a political post, but to look at how four women stood up for those deemed outcasts. Much like Saint Damien of Molokai (the Saint in May), these women were themselves outcasts. As outcasts, there were also speaking the truth of equality of all, through lifting up the underserved.
The date chosen to honor the lives of these four women comes from the Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. This convention ran on July 19 & 20, in Seneca Falls. These four women were pioneers for black emancipation and for equal rights for women. They are not canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, but are recognized as holy people by The Episcopal Church , that does not have the same criteria to recognize people improving the lives of their neighbors.
Each had their focus of raising awareness, but each made a difference. For Elizabeth Cady Stanton it was for women’s rights, Amelia Bloomer was also women’s rights as well as an advocate for the temperance movement. Then Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist and Harriett Tubman Ross was an abolitionist and political activist. (See the blogs Facebook page for more on each of the women throughout the month)
These women, each had their own focus to speak out against the oppression they lived through. They understood, that each person has a voice and a value. While also knowing that oppression is like putting a light under a bushel basket. (Matthew 5:14-16) That as Episcopalians and many other Christian denominations, we are asked to be disciples of Jesus, in Baptism. As spiritual people, it is to demonstrate to others how to experience light. The actions we are asked to take are ones to bring others to know “the way”. This most readily is done, by showing our own light, while helping others to find theirs. All while we walk together.
These women, in their actions although civic minded, were moving in faith to lift people who were living in oppression. They helped find ways to bring the awareness of the injustice some were experiencing, even after establishing the country. They brought forth the awareness, that if anyone is suffering, then we are all suffering. If anyone is experiencing injustice, everyone is experiencing injustice. Having polar opposites of anything, does not create balance, it creates a vacuum where the worth of life is lost on one side.
In lifting someone out of oppression, it is light. There is not a value of light. The value of light is established by the need of light. Furthermore, light is dispersed throughout automatically, it is only stopped by actions to stop light. Although, it is not possible to stock pile light, it is possible to hold the energy of the light to help disbursing the light. That light and energy sustaining us in challenges is grace. That grace arrives with our faith in God and in our fellow spiritually active disciples. This is action is more than in a spiritual life, but in the lives of helping others.
There is action in light and being of light, because light projects upward and outward. In darkness, it narrow and brings down. These four women, as Saint Paul reminds us in Galatians 3:28-29, did not see a difference in people other than the mistreatment. They are holy people, reminding how struggles and oppression do not define who we are as children of God. God has already stated that we are good. Those moments when we are most open to the grace of God, allow the light shine.
Community is one of those things that was taught to me from an early age. However, for many of us as children we may begin to notice differences in people and our community begins to divide. This might first be seen with the separation of boys from girls. The first time, was in day care, that I experienced the us and them or you and I, with the separation from one another. We were either girls or boys and we were either good or bad.
That day care separation was only the beginning. Not long there after, began the struggle of peer pressure, with the paradox of finding our unique identity. While being a part of a culture that wants an homogenized existence, with either in or out. It is from there that I noticed we are also separated by neighborhoods, fences between homes, churches and so on. In a way, we are trained to be separate from one another, even though as humans we are in need of one another to survive.
This separation can cause us to lose a connection with who we are and become caught in our mind as we differentiate between right and wrong. Which feeds the false connections of achieving and acquiring. This leads to self censorship as we begin to try to blend in with everyone else. This can lead to becoming trapped in our mind and losing touch with our community and with our hearts. As many are taught in a Lutheran church, it is turning in on oneself to only see one way to be. Losing touch with our heart is losing touch with who we are. This is losing touch with who we are outside of the expectations that have been established for us. Until one day there is an awakening. These “ah-ha” moments can come when we may find ourselves questioning who we are as an individual and what we are doing with our life.
The act of discovering that how the majority may live does not fit us, can be jarring. For this reason it can be beneficial to find a trusted friend and/or counselor and/or a spiritual director. An awakening can wake up all sorts of awareness within us, that can be just as scary as it is exciting. To also remember to be patient when looking forward. To also remain in the present moment. Some things that may help are centering prayer, some form of meditation, whether sitting focusing on breathes, chanting or moving meditation such as Yoga or Tai Chi.
Those present moment exercises help connect through breathing in a gentle reminder of a larger connection into the universe. The in breath brings in different elements, as our breath exhales different elements, connecting into the ebb and flow of the air around us. No words or thoughts need to be extended in the action of breathing, to bring connection outside of ourselves. Our breathe can also be a humble reminder there is something larger than we are and that we are already a part of something without expectation or judgement. That connection will soon lead to a human community who support and are present in the flow of giving and receiving.
Or Saint Kevin of Glendalough
Canonized by Pope Pius X, on the 9th of December, 1903.
Feast day: June 3
Patron saint of: blackbirds, Glendalough, the Archdiocese of Dublin, and he is one of the patron saints of Ireland.
There is not a lot known about Saint Kevin, but it is estimated he lived between 498 to 618, making him 120 at his death. He was born in Ireland, given the Irish name of Coemgen, which means “attractive” or “beautiful shining birth”. However, after his baptism he was given the name Kevin and today is more widely known as Saint Kevin.
Saint Kevin is known to be the first Abbot of Glendalough in Wicklow County, Ireland. He obtained the land from King O’Toole, after Saint Kevin was called to heal the King’s pet Goose. The King thinking the aged pet goose would not get far, told Kevin that he could build his monastery on the land the goose could fly over. As legend has its, Saint Kevin laid his hand on the goose and the goose became young again, before it flew across what is now the Glendalough Valley. Where now sits the remains of the monastery by two lakes. It is believed the relics of Saint Keven rest in a manmade cave by the upper lake.
Even after the dissolution of the monetary in the 1500s Glendalough, has been and remains the location of many pilgrimages. It is said that the holiness of the space is so sacred, that seven visits to Glendalough is equal to one to Rome. I can say that there is a unique stillness and quiet present. As we walked along the grounds, I personally felt a closeness to God, that was presented nature. We were there just after one of the biggest snows the area had seen in thirty or so years. There were springs pouring out of the mountain side, light gliding off the snow shimmering like glitter across both of the lakes.
There are several legends and miracles attributed to Saint Kevin, most of them involving animals. One of the legends Saint Kevin is known for involves blackbirds, who still hold sacred space of the land. Saint Kevin, while in prayer had a black bird build a nest in his hand and laid eggs. To us now, we would recognize prayer as being on our knees, but then prayer was most often said standing with arms outstretched. Saint Kevin was so moved in recognizing the mortality in the circle of life did not disturb the nest or the bird until the eggs hatched. Although he lived before that of Saint Francis of Assisi, his dedication to nature is why he is know as the Saint Francis of Ireland. His stories and his life has been handed down by pilgrims who travel to and from Glendalough, carrying his story with them.
The monastery which was closed in the 1539, as many Roman Catholic communities were, still remains a place for pilgrimage. As I stood there looking across the land white with snow, the black birds flew around moving as though carrying prayers of all who have made a pilgrimage to this site and beyond. I thought watching them flying about, of how these very birds have descended from the very birds that were present with Saint Kevin, of how they hold the story of Saint Kevin within their beings, just as we do as disciples of The Way.
Saint Kevin who spent much of his time as a hermit, was also a pilgrim, sharing the sacredness of prayer and the monastic life. In both cases he was dedicated to the presence of God in prayer, removing himself from the everyday comforts. As it is offered to us in our faith traditions, that we become differently aware of our sacredness during trials or changes in our life. Those are the times, when we fully surrender to God, because it is beyond our human thinking. Through prayers, chants and delving deep inside our subconscious.
It is when we experience events that move us outside of our comfort zone, that can become most aware of the sacredness, it can also be done in prayer and occasional living removed from everyday distractions. The message to practice devoted prayer, enables us to recognize the sacred even in what may seem a common happening or everyday life. As Saint Kevin and many canonized saints remind, that when we slow down long enough to be present with the Holy Spirit, we can as disciples carry the message with our breath to others. Just as I may not make it to sacred places, some may not make it to a Glendalough, but I can share the message given to me while there as I receive messages from others. This is again one of the ways we participate in the Communion of Saints.
New Springing Forward
It is the middle of May and May first is known as the half way point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. This all to say, we are still in the season of awakening. However, when speaking of a spiritual awakening most often it involves rebirth or being reborn, but not as much about being new. There are similarities, but are different.
In looking first at new; we might get a new TV, a new phone or a new sofa. Though seldom has it been heard of a TV being reborn or the sofa experiencing a rebirth. Although some fresh upholstery the sofa may feel a rebirth and a repaired TV May feel reborn, there is still a difference than new. The similarity is in the change.
The desire for spiritual change, is the most common reason people go for Spiritual Direction. This process takes a look at spiritual experiences and knowledge, to identify where there may be an opening toward awakening. It might be a gradual process of letting go of old habits or thoughts, while also being open to new habits and thoughts.
Although we read about dramatic transformative moments from saints and laypeople, most transformative moments are not like a bolt of lightening. The transformation that most people experience is gradual and happens while awareness becomes new. This does not make the newness within an awakening any less important or any less valid, than an awakening that happens like a bolt of lightening.
The ability we have to see newness in our life begins with the willingness to be open to new. The obstacle most often experienced is thinking there is control in opening to newness. This is where the letting go of the fear of not being able to handle something new, opens us to the meaning of having faith. To have faith that whatever is experienced, can be handled or there will be assistance in some way. This is where we are surrendering to God and being open to that grace. To remember that spiritual awakening does not occur with the intent to do us harm. This even if initially it might feel uncomfortable, to remember there are often adjustments moving toward new.
It might seem more dramatic to say reborn or rebirth, because those words almost command attention as a way to say starting over. Although, a spiritual awakening can feel dramatic, words often fall short to describe spiritual shifts. The danger with dramatic language, is the opportunity to miss all the subtle spiritual shifts. In this way, Spiritual Direction can be like baking a cake. While baking a cake requires a little something added here and there, slow transformation of blended ingredients, taking form, releasing of the old form and a more newness added and evolving with each step. The cake is not reborn, it is new.
Just like in spiritual direction learning what to add, identifying possible distractions and noticing those gradual shifts of awareness, opens up the opportunity to newness. As a Buddhist teacher once said to me, “each moment lets go and becomes a new moment, continually evolving into newness. We may remember the old moment, but with a new way of seeing in each new moment”.
As the season continues to shift into summer, see where newness may appear. See how what may evolve into something new or what may be needed to continually evolve and grow as we spring forward in life.
Saint Damien of Molokai
The unofficially-official patron Saint for the Outcasts and Saints Blog.
The day of his death April 15, is a minor holiday in Hawaii. His feast day in the Episcopal Church is recognized on April 15.
Those with Hanson’s Disease (leper is a slang term), outcasts, Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii and Unofficial patron Saint of living with HIV/AIDS.
Saint Damien of Molokai, was born in Belgium and given the name Jozef De Veuster. After joining The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, in 1860, he took the name Damien after Saint Damian a martyr from the sixth century. Initially he was not selected to go to the colony in Kalupapa, Hawaii, but volunteered after his brother had fallen ill.
In fact, Saint Damien, was initially told he could not join the monastery, because he lacked the necessary education. He left school at thirteen, to go to work to support the family. Saint Damien was, fueled through inspiration of his calling toward missionary work similar to Saint Francis Xavier (the same that was the inspiration for Saint Katherine Drexel, the Saint of the month in March). Though he did not stop seeking his spiritual calling, but started using every opportunity to learn what was needed.
The beginning of Saint Damien of Molokai’s life and the struggle that he had to move toward his calling of joining a religious order, is one of the common threads seen in the lives of saints. He as many other saints did not accept the action of others attempt to cast them out. Although it might be seen as perseverance, for a holy person it offered an opportunity of aligning oneself with Jesus. This is where Saint Damien was able to take the connection to Jesus he experienced, to expand even further into his spiritual life, as he aided others in finding their life.
The connection that he already had with Jesus, moved beyond the doubters of faith, making it possible to humble himself to become a part of a community deemed as unworthy to be part of society. It is said that Kalupapa was selected because of the rugged terrain and the rough seas, making it an almost impossible trek to make. Not really for someone to accidentally happen upon, but so that the residents of Kalupapa who had compromised health could not leave. In that, alignment with Jesus, with those on the outside of the community Saint Damien asked to become a part of that community of outcasts. Upon his arrival, he said, “I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all with Jesus Christ”. He understood, he too had to be an outcast to fully understand his faith.
Eventually Saint Damien did succumb to Hanson’s Disease, but not before aiding a community to find their worth. He did not wait for someone close to him to be infected with the disease, before he was able to see the worth of individuals, to have proper housing, a place to worship, healthcare or the many basic needs to care for our whole self, in body, mind and spirit. Saint Damien already knew these people, because he knew Jesus. It was his practices of striving to align with Jesus that he was able to continue toward an even stronger spiritual connection. The connection was strengthened by his actions of bringing more people to Jesus, finding themselves within scripture.
Saint Damien, first found a connection where he could and initially felt familiar. This awareness enabled him, to then fully surrender to God, to meet the needs of people he did not understand, but accepted. He was able to see that we are all God’s children and that the more of us who learn and live this, the stronger we all are.
There are many benefits of having Canonized Saints and Holy People in the church, because it helps us to see ways we can put action into scripture. Such as Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was also known to have put herself into communities not welcome as a part of the greater community.
These holy people through their daily faith practices, would cast themselves outside of their community to align with one of the teachings from Jesus, to not see the divisions we create as humans. They were able to experience within their practices the awareness of how, anyone being separated from Jesus and their community, weakens our spiritual fabric for everyone. The gift we each bring is unique, but first there needs to be an opportunity to be an active participant.
For example, about a year ago, I was part of a group that was asked to look at our life, for a time when we have not felt a part of a group, our family or in some way holding a different experience than the majority. The answers were broad, ranging from having a different gender than co-workers, living through addiction and recovery, to living with cancer, chronic pain, and even having a different spiritual belief than their family. These were moments where each of us felt like an outcast. While also becoming aware, of how this isolation impacted their spiritual life, because of not feeling a part of a community.
This type of awareness offers an opportunity of looking inward. To ask; how did we feel having a different set of experiences than others? Or to be the same person, before someone knew we are different than they initially perceived? This is similar to the experience Jesus had, when people suddenly turned on him. He was still the same man as before, one person made a case against him to lead to his crucifixion. Jesus was cast outward to live his last days as an outcast, setting before us a living example of vulnerability.
As outcasts and saints, we can hold a different awareness to people similar to us, in our human form, enabling us to connect scripture into actions. The sacred thread connecting us into the fabric of our faith, continues to weave throughout our lives. We first have to be open to receive the grace of God. As many holy people, saints and Jesus have demonstrated, everyone is worthy of that grace. Perhaps, our lives can begin to look similar to that of Saint Damien of Molokai, to see the worth of people society has seen as outcasts to strengthen our divine fabric. Thankfully, there are saints who walk upon the Earth to help fellow outcasts to experience their connection to the divine.
Communion with the Saints
In 2016, as we were preparing to walk through the Holy Doors, of Saint Peter’s Basilica, during the Year of Mercy, I prayed to and for “our ancestors of spirit”. I was caught by that phrase I had not used before and soon there after, I was able to connect to a deeper meaning of the “communion of saints”. If unfamiliar, “the communion of saints” is part of the final lines that we recite in the Apostle’s Creed, which is suspected to have first appeared in a letter to Pope Siricius from Saint Ambrose of Milan in 390A.D.. The design of this creed is to be a reminder of our faith, as an individual within a spiritual community.
In the final lines of the Apostles Creed (found on page 96 in the Book of Common Prayer) reads, “I believe…., in the communion of saints”, which appears in the middle of several other declarations to connect us into our faith. We make this declaration out loud whether it is in a rosary group, morning prayer or in the privacy of home. This is also how we acknowledge our place as one of those saints when we accept the Eucharist to become a part of our body and the Church body.
It is also where I found further understanding of faith communities. The communion of saints, are our collective stories that continue on when we no longer walk upon the Earth or even at our home Parrish. The saints we sit beside in chapels, naives, Parrish halls and sanctuaries are a part of the communion of saints, not just the holy people we honor on feast days. Each encounter we have is a part of that thread of communion that continues, beyond our immediate existence.
The continued thread of communion moves toward the other parts of our lives, outside of church buildings. The communion of saints, connects us in all directions of time, as there are saints yet to come. We are accepting within our declaration an inner understanding of what the holy people who came before us learned, as we awaken to what we already hold within us. That awakening can unfurl along our contemplative journey of sitting with the Apostles creed. The act of saying the creed whether with a group or privately, helps to connect us with all others declaring these same beliefs of faith around the world.
The connections that may be easy to miss, are our actions that we take out into the world as a part of that communion. Taking ourselves out of our own story within acts of kindness or condolences or a smile or friendly greeting are a few other ways to participate in communion. In Buddhism kindness, sharing compassion such as a smile toward others, is also seen as generosity. Our generosity branches out even beyond our spiritual homes, when we are offering kindness toward others.
There are parishes and churches in different spots in the world that we have visited and participated in some way, whether morning prayer, private prayer in a pew or mass. We become a part of that spiritual thread, taking those traditions into our spiritual experience that we share with others. The thread of “the communion of saints” weaves through other areas of our life during travel and visiting with friends who have moved or friends we have met and grown close to through social media. Whether abroad or to a neighboring city, we carry the wisdom and generosity the saints from our home parishes have shared. We leave our footprint behind, in more ways than our ecological footprint.
Furthermore, I have been able to recognize on recent trips, which included visiting with friends and even friends visiting us, that we are taking that thread of communion into other parts of our lives. Even if it did not include worship or sitting down at a table and even if they do not believe spiritually the same, we were a part of a community melding together our collective life experiences. The generous offering of time and space to those we care about, further connects us to the communion of saints in all directions of time.
Our experiences in faith are personal in that only we understand the relationship we have with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, within our spiritual lives. We do not ask others to get to our understanding in our spiritual life, but we meet our friends where our relationship is and it grows from there onward. This awareness of the “communion of saints”, in a way makes us diplomats of our faith and spirituality. Although, we do not have to have it all figured out and expected to be a theological scholar, we do need to be present to openness of our own spiritual presence. The “communion of saints”, is also the opportunity to choose how others see parts of our spiritual life and how we weave the universal thread of loving-kindness.
Saint Mark the Evangelist
Feast day April 25
Patron saint of: notaries, Barristers and Venice
It can be challenging to relate our everyday life, with scripture, with canonized saints and holy people. Unless we have had a divine experience to connect with to angels, Jesus, Mary or whomever, we can be left struggling to find a connection. Though one way might work for the majority off folks, another way might be more effective for others.
One way is to find a connection in our hobbies, professions, personal experiences and so on, through the lives of patron saints. Such as beekeepers when their bees begin to awaken from hibernation might find a prayer to “The Honey Tongued” Doctor of the Church Saint Ambrose. This offers something that is tangible.
Another is how the Eucharist is a link to the communion of saints, which takes us all the way back when Jesus broke bread with the disciples. (Mark 14:12-25) From that day forward we have a link within the action of accepting Jesus into our life. For anyone who attends a service with communion offered on a weekly basis, this is a weekly reminder, that we are connected and also into scripture.
A creative way I have found to connect to canonized saints and into scripture is through the book Drinking with the Saints. There is also an app for that. A unique book that goes through a whole year learning about some of the canonized saints, their lives and connect us with a beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) of some sort. This is a different kind of tangible, something that adds an action into our connection.
Instead of inventing the wheel so to speak; here is the excerpt on Saint Mark the Evangelist, as found on page 87 and 88. You are about to learn why we have a weeping cherry tree in our garden, that we call Saint Mark, in conveniently named Saint Mark’s Garden.
“St. Mark the Evangelist (d. 68) is traditionally believed to have been a disciple of St. Peter, whose memories of Our Lord Mark recorded in his Gospel. Many also conjecture that Mark is referring to himself when he mentions the man who fled naked for the Garden of Gethsemsne (Mark 14:51). Saint Mark eventually journeyed to Alexandria to spread the faith, where he was martryed by being dragged through the streets. The Coptic Church honors him as it’s founder. Later, the Roman Catholics wanted a piece of him too—literally. In AD 828, Venetian merchants sneaked his relics through a Muslim check point by hiding them in pork, which was unlawful for the Mohammedans to touch. St. Mark’s remains are in the grand Basilica of San Marco in Venice, and the evangelist’s symbol, the lion, became that of the city.
Because St. Mark’s Day is associated with a particular legend about Pope St. Gregory the Great, it has become an occasion for eating cherries—or in our case drink them….
Last call: The battle cry of the Venetian was Piante Lione — Plant the Lion! May St. mark the Lion plant the faith firmly in our hearts.”
3/4 oz. gin
3/4 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. cherry liqueur (e.g., Cherry Heering)
1/2 oz. groseille (red currant) syrup or grenadine
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until cold. Strain into a cocktail glass.
+Non-alcoholic (Not a part of the book. Always important to include those not of age or dry.)
3/4 oz. cherry juice
4oz. of ginger ale
Add the cherry juice on top to allow the color to fade throughout.
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he* lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead,* and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’
11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12After the priests* had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13telling them, ‘You must say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” 14If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ 15So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’