An Old Dump

03-27-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Recently, I gave an in-depth tour of our church to members of RCIA and their families. They learned why the baptismal font is in the back of the church, the significance of the placement of our saint statues, that Catholic Churches are baptized, the definition of terms like narthex, nave, and sacrarium, and so much more. (I’d be happy to do the same for other parishioners if there is a demand.)

One of my favorite moments of the tour (spoiler alert!) is when I share a factoid from the “About Our Parish” section of our website: “Parishioners pooled resources to purchase 10 Acres of land toward building of a parish church and campus. Ironically, the land purchased to build our parish in Carefree had been used for some years as an official ‘dump.’”

You read that right. The most beautiful church campus I’ve ever seen... is built on an old dump.

This Monday is my birthday, and whenever that day comes around, I tend to remember mistakes from my past. And every year I am amazed that someone so tremendously flawed has gotten to be this amazing parish’s Director of Faith Formation.

But I think of the property where I sit as I write this column. A specific location known for trash and refuse—is now known as a place of faith and refuge.

And then I think of this weekend’s Gospel. The young man who demanded what wasn’t yet his to demand, turned his back on his family in favor of debauchery. But he came back to his father with humility and did not find condemnation, but celebration.

If you struggle to believe God has plans you because of the garbage in your past, think of the prodigal son.

And think of Our Lady of Joy, because if you think our church is a beautiful place where people can come from miles around to experience the Lord while still on earth, you are only beginning to see the plans the Lord has for you. I don’t know the specifics, but I can say with confidence, He thinks you are beautiful and desires for people to experience His love while in your presence.

So leave the garbage in your past where it belongs.

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