The entire world seemed to take notice of the recent papal visit to Cuba and the U.S. It is only natural, after all, to make such a fuss. The unquestionable fascination of a religious leader venturing out of their “small corner of the world,” to other larger ports and onto the world stage is certainly newsworthy. What will the pope say? With whom will he visit? It is this second question that has created quite a firestorm of controversy. The result has been an old fashioned “he said – she said” scenario.
So, did the Holy Father meet with Kim Davis or not? Depending upon what article and news source we read, one says that Mrs. Davis was in a group of several dozen “invited guests” with whom the pope shook hands, greeted and moved on. Another source says Mrs. Davis had a private audience with the pontiff, he gave her a blessing and encouraged her to “stay strong” in her beliefs and conviction.
Personally, my feeling is we should all sit back, take a deep breath and relax. Really, if they met, so be it. We can’t change that. If they did not have a private meeting, well then, someone’s nose is getting longer, what with the fibs being told! The truth is, whether or not they met privately does not really have much of a bearing on us nor does it affect us, our way of life and our ministry here at St. Nicholas. What this situation teaches us is the truth is always our best and only course of action. It teaches that we are called to treat all others with love and respect and ultimately, we are truly accountable to God alone.
What we must concern ourselves with here at St. Nicholas is our call and commission to always welcome the stranger with warmth and love. We are called and commissioned to give rightful praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for the bountiful gifts God bestows upon us. We are called and commissioned to sing a joyful song unto the Lord and to do all we can to help build and strengthen this wonderful house of worship we love and treasure…our St. Nicholas Church.
There was no controversy, no ‘he said – she said’ scenario this past weekend at church, now was there? We had dogs and cats, back packs and purses, all of which received a special blessing. We celebrated the feast of a most beloved, holy man, Francis of Assisi. We gave thanks for his great love of all God’s creatures as we showed our affection to our cherished pets.
We recognized how our lives are ‘carried’ in the bags we tote along. Blessing these bags is a holy and rightful way of providing us that extra special grace to keep us safe and secure. Our children began their formation program and Bible study began in earnest, too. Plenty of good coffee and some wonderfully sweet treats were laid out for all to share. Everything was above board, on the table and nothing was concealed or hushed. Right there, out in the open for all to see, hear and be part of. We brought forth our talents and shortcomings, we flawed, frail, fabulous and faithful people of God that we are. Now THAT is what church is all about! Being alive, aloud and alluring. Not pretending to be anything other than who we are and as we are. No secrets, no hidden agenda and no private audiences. Besides, for me, I’d rather celebrate and worship with the entire parish family for this is where and how my soul is refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. And for this, I am most truly grateful…no fibbing, just the truth.