Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Devotional by: Hilary Jerome Scarsella, PhD

The Lenten language of “giving up” and “letting go” has never quite worked for me the way I’m told it should. I hear the voice of Holy Wisdom more clearly in Her calls to “listen in” and “learn to trust.” “Giving up” and “letting go” bring to mind a flow that moves out and away from the self. And yes—we are asked in this season to cease being consumed by ourselves in such a way that we cannot meet God in plant, animal, mineral, and human Others with whom we share the earth. But one cannot meet God in any other way than as oneself, and that is by God’s own design. The act of meeting the One who Loves Us in the life of another does not make us empty; it is the way we become full. As in the act of listening, as in the act of learning to trust, attuning oneself to God and to Neighbor is part and parcel of becoming attuned to oneself. The energy one sends out is returned. The movement is reciprocal. And it can only be this way if, as the wise among us have said, God is a verb.

Reflection Question: How, in this season, might Holy Wisdom be calling you to become more deeply attuned to Her presence and image in the world around you? How might this call also nurture your sense of loving connection to yourself?

Action Step: Spend 10 minutes watching The Road We’re On, a video collaboration between NYS Poor People’s Campaign and the Rochester Homeless Union that chronicles a day in the life of organizers. Afterward, spend 5 minutes freewriting about what it might mean for you to meet God, other, and yourself amidst the housing crisis in our cities.


Hilary Jerome Scarsella, PhD serves as Assistant Professor of Ethics & Director of Gender, Sexual and Racial Justice at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS).