This week we will celebrate our 17th Annual Festival of the Nations. It is a time we grow in our theme, “Many nations, one family.” This is an idea written in the first reading this week in the prophet Isaiah, who reminded us, “my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Our festival gives us the chance to celebrate that we are best when live as the catholic/universal family.
One-way families grow stronger is to learn more about each other. We will do this through food, dance, crafts, and song. For some, trying new things is easy, for others, new things or different things are scary. As Catholics, our festival is more than an activity, it is an act of faith. Faith asks us to be open to others’ experiences, faith asks us to see the world and God from someone else’s eyes. Because without each other’s experience of God we are only seeing part of the picture.
When I was growing up, we were always taught to at least try a new vegetable or new food and the funny thing was once we took a more open mindset, we almost always ended up liking it (but admittedly not always as I still cannot eat olives or papaya.) In reality, as much as I love the food at our Festival of the Nations, the greatest part of the day is not about the food, it is about the people and sharing this day with one another. While we may be limited by language and conversation, loving acts of kindness like a smile, holding the door for someone, or trying the food of their homeland is a gesture that goes beyond language.
Our openness is what will move us beyond this moment in time. Openness is one of the hallmarks of Christian faith. How else could we believe in a virgin birth or the Trinity being one God? So a simple act of openness is much more than it seems and will open us to greater worlds. The blessing of our festival is that the world comes to us. The question is how will we respond to this world at our feet? With openness or not? The world is waiting for your answer, and we hope to see you and your families this Saturday the 26th from 430pm until 930pm. Our family is stronger when we are together, our family is stronger when you are with us.
With a heart for Mission,