I recently heard a Catholic celebrity announce that they were moving their family to a huge farm in the middle of nowhere in an effort to nourish a holier family.
While others were applauding the choice, I scratched my head at this situation. Frankly, I encounter Jesus on the dirty streets of the city and the communities I live and work in. In the poor single mothers we serve through St. Vincent de Paul. In the people I spiritually companion in suburbia. In the homeless man asking me for money. In the disabled person that lends a smile. In the highs and lows of the everyday workplace. In the “nones” I encounter along the way. This is all mission ground!
Is this the message we should be sending in our Church? That you need to move to the outskirts of society to be holy? I’m not sure that was the message of the Gospel.
The Gospel that I read each day shows a Jesus that was with and among the people. Yes, He withdrew to deserted places for prayer and rest, but otherwise, he was healing, preaching, and teaching others most of the time. He was with the blind, the lame, the leper, the hemorrhaging woman, sinners, and fellow disciples.
We all are called to different paths, and I recognize that. But I really wonder if some Catholics these days want to separate themselves from the society that they are called to be the presence of Jesus within.
Have we missed the real message of the Gospel? Are we rooted enough to live it right where we are?