This weekend we give thanks for the birth of Anna Krista Petrova, the Baptism of William Daly, the safe return of our 17 J2A pilgrims, and for those people who have supported, encouraged, and inspired us on our journey. We are so proud and happy to have the opportunity to be of support to others on their journey, too.
And this weekend, as always, we give thanks for the good work of God. The work of caring about, loving our neighbors. Today my heart is heavy for neighbors I never met personally: Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, his daughter Angie Valeria and their family. It amazes me that I should care about such remote strangers. But this is the good work God calls us to - to care about all of our neighbors, even strangers. I wish I could have done something to help them. If you have time, read a bit more about Valeria and her family. Read more here. If you are interested, consider reading this balanced analysis of migrant flows at the southwest border by Alan Bersinand and Nate Bruggeman: The New Reality of Migrant Flows at the U.S. Southwest Border.
I have been engaged with helping some of our neighbors in the wider community for several years. Neighbors of different faiths and origins. And it has deeply enriched my life. If you are feeling ready to join in some kind of personal, face to face, hand to hand work with nearby neighbors there are countless opportunities in local schools and neighborhoods. I can get you in-touch with Cathy Lehner, Leah Tenorio, Cristina Schoendorf and others who can help you get involved as much as you want.
You might also consider attending part of the One Journey Festival at Washington National Cathedral Saturday, June 29.
Several things become clear the more we get to know God and God’s work. God’s work is always good. Reconciling, healing, liberating, personal, face to face, hand to hand. And God never stops raising up new people everywhere to do this work. Sometimes people may say, “No.” Or, “Not now. I have other things I have to do.” But that’s OK. God will come around to them again. In the meantime, others will always say, “Yes. When do I start.”
As we follow Jesus in Sunday’s Gospel, we see he does not fret over those who reject him. Jesus doesn’t condemn, judge, punish, demean, ridicule, bicker, or try to persuade. And he never gives up. Because he has the best work of all to do. The work of loving his neighbors, the good work of God.