I have the honor of pastoring a community of Latinos. They venture downtown every Sunday to make it to mass in a building a stone’s throw away from the ICE offices for central Indiana. They show up in the center of our city hungry for the Word. Hungry for the Sacrament. And they do this at no small risk to themselves.
On Tuesday night I had numbed out. I, like many others, was so shocked and ashamed by what I was seeing, I couldn’t feel, much less find words to describe whatever feeling I was lacking. My newsfeed was a chorus of outrage and shock, building up the walls of noise that kept me pinned to the floor in front of my TV, glancing back and forth from phone to television.
It was all sound and fury. I was overwhelmed.
I don’t know if it was mental effort I have to put in to switch into Spanish that pulled me out of it, but a colleague posted “Necesitamos un milagro por favor, please.” [We need a miracle, please, please.]
And I broke. It got quiet. I wept.
This afternoon en la Misa at 1pm, without anyone asking, without an announcement or encouragement, members of our English-speaking community showed up for Misa. They grabbed bulletins in Spanish, and they filled the pews.
During the sermon, our Dean saw this, and, almost moved to tears himself, invited the English speakers to stand.
“We are one community, and we stand with you.”
It was moving. It was powerful. It was the most tangible vision of a community of solidarity and support that I’ve seen in a long time.
The English-Speakers sat down. The sermon ended. We all stood up together. And we said “Creemos en un Solo señor….”
Creemos. We believe.
Creemos. The word hit the walls like thunder, bounced back and bowled me over.
I broke. (And I composed myself quickly and without drawing attention, because I am the worst of the repressed white men.)
There is still a place where we can stand together and say we believe.
We believe that God made this world good.
We believe Christ became flesh to call us back to goodness.
We believe we will have to account for our lives.
We believe we are called to be together. Holy, catholic, apostolic. Together.
I don’t have much faith in many other things right now, but I believe that.
When reformers wanted to get the Church back to their roots, the Ecumenical councils and the Creeds were the first place they started. That’s something I understand now. In my bones I understand it.
When the rest falls apart, we start with what binds us.
We say we believe, then we go from there. Conjuntos. Together.