Many people in the Southwest are familiar with the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. At the recommendation of friends native to the area, Dave and I decided to make the easy drive north to attend a service on the holy day.
The church itself was stunning. Elegant white stucco offset by brilliant stained glass hues depicting the life and works of various saints. To our left, a life-sized sculpture of Jesus nailed to the cross while his mother and Mary Magdalene mourned at his feet. All around, words – His words – embossed in gold. Magnificent as the physical structure was, I couldn’t help but marvel at the people filling the pews. Walkers, sneakers, jeans, suits, braided black hair, a soft bun of blonde, fresh faces and worn faces, pale and sun-kissed. The contents of the church were as contrasting as the structural features. Yet, like the almost eclectic cathedral, everyone had his place.
The second reading came from 1 Peter reminding us that all who believe are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own.” Young, old, man, woman, brown, black or white – it makes no difference. ALL who believe are the chosen race. The very essence of God’s love and, of communio, is available to everyone. All may come. All are welcome to receive.
The beauty of communio is found in the communion we share with one another. Prior to the close of service, the congregation was called to lift our voices in song to Psalm 118 – “Este Es dl Dia – This is the Day.” Without instruction and without missing a beat, the entire congregation made this proclamation in a seamless blend words, both Spanish and English. There was no divide, no “right.” When you take away the expectation, the misperception, all that remains is harmony. For it is then we find peace in communio.