Jacob’s witness

Yesterday (5/2/20), I was privileged to witness on-line my grandson Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony! Not being Jewish, but rather raised deeply in the Catholic traditions, I was very much taken with the ritual and ceremony involved, and very proud of my grandson’s wonderful participation. Jacob and his parents asked if I would do a reading, and I read “A Prayer for Peace”, toward the end of the ceremony. Two lines in that prayer stood out for me, and I think bear repeating. “We have not come into being to hate or destroy. We have come into being to praise, to labor and to love.” For some reason, those two lines took my breath away.
Today’s crisis is affecting deeply how we are living our lives. Our labor, for many of us, is contained, and perhaps suspended. And social distancing is limiting how we interact and love. What is left is praise, a decision to offer validation and encouragement to those we care about. And until this imposed “stay at home” is over, we have the ability to praise and encourage one another without reservation.
After the ceremony, Jacob texted me “I am now a man!” Yes, you are, Jacob. And at the beginning of a life full of praise, labor and love. Cherish all of it!