The Work of the People

APR 13, 2015 - Visual Epistles

Resurrection as Inhabiting Truth

Fr. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, a non-profit organization that helps to bring young people out of gangs, talks about “the risen Christ reality.” Up to the time of this video, Fr. Boyle has buried 193 young people because of gang violence. How can someone who constantly sees death and violence still have hope? It is not enough to know truth, but one must be able to live out the truth that they know. 

Questions for Reflection 

  1. The video begins with the question: “What breaks your heart apart, and what breaks it open?” Boyle responds with a quote: “Allow your heart to be broken by the very things that breaks the heart of God.” What might this quote mean? 

  2. Fr. Boyle tells the story of a young man, José Saliva, who Boyle knew for fifteen years. “He was able to see, I think, and know that he was exactly what God had in mind when God made him. Because I think, on some level, he inhabited that truth; he lived that truth, and no bullet can pierce it.” What does it mean to inhabit the truth of your own existence? 

  3. Fr. Boyle is asked, “How do you still praise God with all those deaths?” Boyle says, “Part of the risen Christ reality is to know that death has no power.” Fr. Boyle says that the Dalai Lama sees on his own death as “A change of clothing,” i.e., an insignificant transition. “That’s how you become free, and you put first things, recognizably, first. And you live as though the truth were true.” How is this attitude about death freeing? How can we live “as though the truth were true”? 
  4. What might it mean to say “Death is a comma, not a period”? 

  5. Boyle comments, “If you think death is the worst thing that can happen to you, then brace yourself. You’re going to be toppled.” What might be a worst fate than death? What is the consequence to living life as if death is the worst thing that can happen? 

  6. Fr. Boyle says, “This kid, José, did not live forever; He lived in the forever.” How might we begin to live in the forever? 

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We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

We believe God’s narrative requires we altǝr our perspective, that we step, in faith, into God’s upside down reality. In God’s reality we listen for, live and speak God’s upside down voice of faith, hope and love, not striving for ourselves but serving our neighbor. For all these reasons, this is Altǝr.

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