My family has lived in my hometown for generations.
The road we took to Mass each Sunday was named after my great-grandparents who farmed the land around it. The church where I worshipped for the first twenty-five years of my life was the same one my great-great-grandparents worshipped in upon their arrival from Bavaria.
My grandfathers would tell stories from their youth, helping me to understand how my hometown took shape and how my family was connected to different locations and events in both local and national history.
All of this gave me a context, and with that context I had a pretty solid understanding of who I was and where I fit into the bigger picture. It was a little spot in the grand scheme of things, but it was surrounded by people who I loved and who loved me.
It also prepared my heart to understand the Gospel, especially salvation history. God created us, and when Original Sin ruptured our relationship with Him, in His love and mercy He promised our ancestors that He would restore that relationship.
And He did.
As Saint Paul said, “[W]hat God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus” (Acts 13:32-33). He died for my sins and He died for yours. We are a part of salvation history, and this is the context of our lives.
This is where we belong.
This priest gives us insight into belonging to Jesus.
Bonnie Engstrom is a writer, baker, speaker, and homemaker. She lives with her husband and eight children in Illinois. Bonnie is the author of “61 Minutes to a Miracle” which tells the story of her son’s miracle that was approved by Pope Francis for the beatification of Venerable Fulton Sheen. She likes to bake, putz about the yard, and tell her kids to tidy the house. She is the author of the Blessed Conversations Mystery: Believe study found here. You can find out more about her here.