As my flight this morning pushed out over Lake Michigan I was greeted with the beautiful colors of the day’s sunrise. My trip to Philadelphia for the 2015 World Meeting of Families commenced with a stunning horizon full of life and new opportunity. I couldn’t help but give thanks to God for these gifts.
I also couldn’t help but think of the journey ahead. What will we encounter as Equally Blessed (link) pilgrims taking up witness for a more inclusive and loving Church? What challenges, opportunities for growth, and celebrations will we experience together? In what ways will God invite us to something new, and transformative, on this journey? As the Catholic Church lurches toward change, how might we stand prophetically on the margins and speak out for those who love their faith and their Church but know it can be better?
These are the types of questions the greet us as we embark on this pilgrimage. For now, more questions than answers. As it should be for a group open to the Holy Spirit’s drive for new and faithful ways of being Church that embody the radical love of the Gospel.
A week from now the sun will go down on our journey. Like this morning’s sunrise, that sunset will be breathtaking, too. For different reasons, I suspect. Likely with still more questions and challenges to live into. I am certain, though, that our Church – because of the pilgrims’ willingness to share their authentic selves with faith and integrity – will be a community of greater justice and love. A spark, we hope, that will continue to embolden a churchly people crying out for and cultivating a different way forward.
And so, as we embark on this loving adventure, let us pray.
God, draw near to us during this special time. Give us the strength and wisdom to do this important work and bless us on this journey.