I don’t know why I continue to be surprised at the sense of community that happens when people come together for the purpose of learning something about their faith.
The “Brownbag Bible Study” group at St. Joe’s is no exception . Generally, when we come together for six weeks at a time to study a particular book of the Bible, or a saint as we did last month, the group is largely women. Most of us are, as our pastor would say, “on the back nine of life.” Each time we come together there often is a lone male who braves the group. For our first session of the Gospel of Matthew that was (appropriately) Matt. Today a second guy joined us, a young guy, Vince, one of our RCIA candidates. We were delighted to welcome him.
A few minutes after Vince arrived, our eldest participant arrived for the first time in months. Marian has had a few health setbacks recently so we were really delighted to welcome her back. Everything came to a standstill as she approached the room and got settled.
Between Vince and Marian is a span of about 70 years. Yet, each of them, and everyone in between, brings their unique gifts of faith, wisdom, and insatiable curiosity about Scripture and Catholic tradition. You’re never too young or too old.
As we focused today on the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew—the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes—a new beatitude became part of my prayer:
Blest are they who share faith with others; theirs is the nearness of God.