Sauntering with St. Patrick

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Readings for the Feast Day of St. Patrick

This reflection was shared at Sacred Saunter Outdoor Eucharist on Saturday March 16, 2019 at Sequoia Park in Eureka. 

Today, our Scripture readings are the readings for the feast day of Ireland’s most beloved saint, Patrick, who actually was not Irish, but British. As a young boy, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates, sold into slavery in Ireland, escaped and then returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop, introducing the Irish to the God revealed through Jesus Christ. The Irish people, who were known at the time as Scots and Celts, worshipped the gods of nature. They worshipped the Coventina, the Celtic goddess of water whom they understood as having three manifestations just as water manifests as solid, liquid and gas. They also worshipped the god Cernunnos, the god of the wild woods and forest, who also had a triune nature. St Patrick taught the Irish to trust their intuition when it came to the spiritual power of water and the woods and the number three. He told the Irish, “The God I have come to reveal to you is the loving creator of all things and, like an artist who signs his masterpiece, God has put a bit of himself in every aspect of creation. So every aspect of creation (even the tiniest cell and molecule) point us back to God the creator. Because God is Love, God is three persons: Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer; three persons in eternal love with each other and with us.” Legend says that Patrick saw the Irish shamrock as a symbol pointing to God and God’s Triune nature. Here in Sequoia park, we don’t have shamrocks, but we have redwood sorrel, which is also three leaves yet one plant. We also have the three-petalled trillium flowers. So once again, creation points us to our God who is the Creator of all things and who is Love and who invites us to join the Triune community of divine love by resting in Him now, surrounded by water and woods. Amen.

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