23rd Sunday Ordinary Time – Words in the Ruins


The Wednesday before I presided and preached, the pastor of the parish was indicted for “inappropriate contact with a minor.” A parishioner at each Mass read a letter from the archdiocese to inform the people about what had recently occurred. And this on the heels of a visit from an archdiocesan priest the weekend before to listen to people who had been in limbo, along with his parishioners, waiting to know what was up.

I’ve never encountered the kind of pall that settled over the people then.

The first reading was addressed to exiles in Babylon after the city of God, the Temple of God was destroyed. Here we were in exile. Here we sat in the midst of the ruins of the church.

What we had believed in has been battered: “Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith?” Ouch.

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