Next week we’ll mark the feast of St. Lawrence (August 10). This summer, more than most, I feel l’ve been echoing his most famous quote from the fire pit: “You can turn me over now. I’m done on that side.” Geez, it has been a hot couple of weeks.
But heat is not what I’ve chosen to focus on in my preaching for the feast. Rather I’ve been thinking about the gospel passage of the day from John 12:24—a favorite one in the world of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I share the story of a conversation I had a quarter of a century ago with a little girl named Caitlin who is now probably in her mid-thirties. (Yikes!) The question she asked has always stuck with me and maybe it will stick with you, too.
As amazing examples of what it means to let go of one’s own life / agenda / way of looking at the world and allowing oneself to be part of something bigger, I’ve gotten to watch two fabulous documentaries on Delta flights this past month. Refuge is a film shot basically in my own backyard. It is about a Kurdish Muslim cardiologist here in Atlanta who intentionally reaches out to dialogue with a veteran involved in the white supremacy movement from a town just north of here. I first saw this movie last year during a small private screening featuring the director and have been talking it up ever since but there was nowhere to view it. Imagine my joy to find it on Delta. It was just as impactful to watch the second time. The other film is a bit older (2018) and about a couple who tries to farm in greater harmony with the land. They are repeatedly asked to trust in nature’s own ways of dealing with things, which can be pretty hard to do. The documentary is called The Biggest Little Farm and someday on a trip out to LA I hope to visit Apricot Lane Farms. Maybe before the next LA Congress??
Good news: You don’t need to fly Delta (or any other airline) to see these movies. Now there are lots of other options for viewing at home. Maybe a way to celebrate the feast of St. Lawrence by meditating on the gospel and beating the heat at the same time! Instead of Barbinhiemer, you could do Refufarm. I’m going to have to see if I can talk Mike into that one.
What’s ahead… besides the feast of St. Lawrence?
- I’ll be in Louisville, KY at Assumption High School next week and Ursuline High School in Youngstown, OH the week after. Looking forward to being at these amazing Catholic high schools so conscientious about living their values in the midst of tense conversations.
- Working on a new resource to be published by RENEW International to get parishes talking about how to heal polarization at the local community level.
- Hopefully enjoying a bit of a cool down!