In the beginning was the note, and the note was with God and the note was God. It was the note that hovered over the formless abyss at the beginning of Genesis, creating order from chaos, dividing the water from the land, the sun from the moon, the beasts of the land from the birds of the air. It was the note that breathed life into our first parents, inspired Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, cried out from the burning bush, and guided Moses and his people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.
This single note of the Creator played throughout history, summoning countless women and men, setting their hearts aflame and inspiring them to dance to the music of the Unseen Musician encountered in the composition of creation. The highest heavens and the depths of the sea proclaimed together the glories of the Heavenly Maestro. Some 2,000 years ago, in the still silence of a sitting room, a young woman's quiet “yes” to the Composer, was the "yes" through which the Note was made Flesh. In word and in deed, Jesus Christ – the living symphony of God – performed on our human stage. Our sinful human ears could not bear the sound of the heaven's orchestra, so we silenced him by nailing him to the wood of the cross.
In the days following the crucifixion, a deep silence hung over the earth. Death, it seemed, had swallowed the Music whole. Yet this silence was pierced at morning's light that Easter morning when the music of God’s creation sounded forth from the Tomb, proclaiming: I am alive and this is the song I sing. I shall not be silenced but shall sing out now and forever more. To you I give you my spirit, the perfect pitch to which you may tune your life. My note is now your note, my life is your life, my music is your music. Join your voice with mine and go out to the world to bring them the Good News of my new composition, my new creation!
Lord, we gather together tonight in celebration of these musicians. Each one, in his own way, has worked to tune himself to the music of your creation. You have touched each one's heart, inspiring him to embrace the talents you gave him so that he might join in heaven's symphony. Give them the grace, Oh Lord, to continue to learn and to perform the music they so love. Give them the ear to hear the music of your creation and the courage to enter into it. Join them together in a spirit of musical brotherhood so that with each note, with each performance, they consecrate themselves entirely to the greater honor and glory of God.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Invocation for 2011 U of D Jesuit Band Banquet
I was invited to provide the invocation for this year's Band Banquet. Here is a copy of the text: