Then in their trouble they cried to the LORD, *
who delivered them from their distress.
God stilled the storm to a whisper *
and quieted the waves of the sea.
Then were they glad because of the calm, *
and God brought them to the harbor they were bound for.
Let them give thanks for the mercy of God, *
for the wonders the LORD does for all people.
Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people *
and praise God in the council of the elders.
These words from Psalm 107 are appointed for the Feast day of Isabel Florence Hapgood. I have to say, I have never heard of her before today. She was a translator, and worked to translate the Divine Liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church to English speakers. Amazing…. We never know where movements come from, who the individuals are who take it upon themselves (answer the call) to embark on these times of translation.
Translation…. this word, this image, resonates with me on this day, when the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. Translation. How do we translate the Gospel, the Good News, out into the world? How do we “preach Christ crucified” as St. Paul says, as well as “God is Love”..as we are reminded in the First Letter of John?
We are called to translate the Good News…. We are called to share hope to all our brothers and sisters.
These are watershed days for us. Watershed days during which Pope Francis calls us to a greater awareness–a mindfulness–of our impact on the climate. Watershed days in which housing is affirmed, in which insurance continues to be made available.
Yet, we are called to continue our ministry of translation….of sharing the Good News….of taking the hope we have received and sharing it in our world, in our context… So, Isabel Hapgood’s challenge to us is this: how do we take our tradition, a space of hope and embracing compassion, and speak it in other languages? It’s an interesting image to consider…..