We Are Called to BE Light!

This past week we prepared almost every day to be ready for Advent. For those of you who don’t know, I LOVE Advent! It is for me the most wonderful of all liturgical seasons as it combines a little of Lent with a whole lot of hope! That is also why I love this parish! We bring to the world, a means of being penitent for all the ways we fail, but a lot of hope because we welcome everyone, even in their brokenness. Here, no one is ever rejected, and all find a home, and the voices of others engage the fabric of who we are and make us even better.

As we ushered in the fresh evergreens and I saw the Christ Candle mounted into place upon the beautiful Advent Wreath, I began to pray to God, “Father I Heaven, in my brokenness and weakness, what can I do to make Advent wonderous for someone else?”  The answer came almost immediately when the Unidos Voices Project under the guidance and love of Father Rick Romero, asked me to speak on the value of the project.

The Unidos Voices Project allows our voices to be one of moderation, of reason, and of hope to the immigrant, the asylum seeker, and marginalized. We see today that the larger voices are those of building bigger walls, rather than extending our table to accommodate those in need. We are so set on our ways and vitriol that we fail to allow the voices of others to even have a place in our heated discussions. I was proud to lend my support – my voice – just as we, as a Sanctuary Parish, will always be welcoming to those who seek our protection.

This past week, we have witnessed the unthinkable again as children and mothers were gassed at our borders and asylum seekers of all ages were pelted with rubber bullets. We saw our government side with a nation who willingly murdered a reporter and dismembered his body to hide the crime, all for an unrealized as of yet $450 billion dollars, apparently the value of a human life now. We saw yet another mass shooting and the denial of what is apparent to so many, our climate is changing.  We witnessed hatred shared on Social Media and nooses hung in Mississippi.  Yes, we are a needed voice. The world needs more voices like ours and a parish like we created.

St. Francis once said, “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” That is what we did together by gathering to create this humble parish. We became a candle that the darkness of winter and even hatred could not extinguish, and that the chaos of the world will never defeat. We are light. We are the new shepherds gathering on a cold winter’s night looking up at a star and saying, “He is here.”
We are called to be light!
Blessed Advent.

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