We Are One by Dennis Montecillo

In this last issue of the month, we continue our journey from interdependence to solidarity by examining ways in which our parish builds our sense of community.

Jayme Blanco discusses the ways in which social media is used by God – through us – to spread His message more powerfully. Edmund Lim takes you on a whirlwind tour through the various ministries of our parish, demonstrating that we are like other parishes, but are also unique in our own right. Caron Macasaet shares a powerful personal testimony of how novenas and devotions carried her through a difficult moment in her life, focusing on the role that repetitive prayer played in her dark moments.

We, the SSAP parish, consist of thousands of different personalities, each shaped by our own life experiences. And yet, through it all, we are united by one Person – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is He who serves as the glue that binds us together, that transforms interdependence into solidarity.

I end with a story.

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, in his book “The Holy Longing”, tells the story of Betzy, a woman “with a heart the size of the Grand Canyon”. Because she is so loving, she has a wide variety of friends, and one night she decides to have a party and invite them all. Men and women of every description, ideology, background, temperament, taste, and social standing, liberals and conservatives, fundamentals and feminists, meat eaters and vegetarians – they all accept the invitation.

Given the mix, there is a fair amount of tension at the gathering, but because Betzy is there, and because they respect who she is and what she stands for, everyone, at least for the night, is engulfed with a spirit of tolerance, respect, decency and charity.

Such a gathering would only work while Betzy was actually present. Without her, they would forget why they were there.

The same can be said for our Church. The story is an image of the Christian Church around Jesus Christ. This is the basis for Christian ecclesial community, a gathering around His Person. We can know best what He means to us by imagining a world without Him.