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Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

8 September 2012

Reflecting on James 2: 1-5

The St. Jerome Mission

They broke our hearts again.  They always break our hearts, with their humility and warmth, and their love of the Catholic faith and la virgen de Guadalupe.

I’m speaking of the six members of a parish in Juarez, Mexico who traveled all night on the bus to come to Denver last weekend.  They had come to celebrate with many of the benefactors of The St. Jerome Mission, a parish center and retreat house just recently completed for their parish in Juarez.  You can see this great endeavor of faith at www.stjeromemission.com

We did all kinds of fun things, including a visit to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where they thrilled to the prehistoric beauty of the rock outcroppings that were home to the Ute tribes in ancient days.  We celebrated the Eucharist twice, once at a Spanish-language Mass where they and the entire congregation sang their hearts out.

Sometimes our bilingual members had to attend to other matters, leaving the rest of us smiling and nodding at each other, unable to converse.  One evening I was overjoyed to remember that this column also appears in Spanish in many parishes!  We all gathered around the computer to scroll through three years of www.lahistoriayusted.com (www.thestoryandyou.com ).   Seeing the artwork that accompanies each Gospel story their eyes lit up with recognition and joy.  Ah. There’s John the Baptist!  There’s Mary Magdalene!

And I thought of today’s letter of James: Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom? Their love of Jesus is as sturdy and enduring as the Red Rocks.  They who have so little shared with us their greatest treasure: a deep and joyful faith.

Are there “riches” that are keeping you from a deeper faith?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

One Comments to “Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B”

  1. Such a beautiful story, Kathy, capturing how the gulf of language can seemingly isolate or separate us, until we remember the underlying Story of redemption that makes us one in Christ. It is an important reminder to me. In my case, it is frequently a fascination with and love of language and rhetoric — one might say an intellectual pride — that keeps me from exploring the depths of my faith. I am rich in academic studies about history, language, theology, liturgy, and scripture. Sometimes I get diverted from a deeper reflection on the Word because I am so enamored of crafting a clever or beautiful turn of phrase. I forget sometimes that I am also surrounded by people who are rich in the experience of living their faith, who may not articulate their deep faith life in ways that appeal to my academic or poetic tastes, but whose faith experience is profound and overflowing in grace. I forget that I can and must connect on that level. And if I can’t access and share my own story in its most vital and foundational aspect, all my understanding and eloquence is for nothing, as St. Paul knew so well. God bless you for this reminder!

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