Can we open our hearts in the global north to the movement of the Spirit in the global south?
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is being criticized by the religious leaders of his day for disrupting their established order. In fear, they convince themselves that the only way to keep their authority is to plot to kill Jesus. Their hearts are closed to the new thing the Holy Spirit is doing in their midst.
This reading challenges us to ask ourselves if there are places in our lives where we reject the movement of the Spirit. Are our hearts open to the disruption the Spirit may cause as we discern the changes we must make to transform our lives and our world?
Recently, I’ve listened to the stories of Catholic women engaged in ministry with faith communities in the Amazon region of Latin America. They are part of the massive effort to create a more synodal, listening, participatory Church that unites in its struggle for an integral ecology to care for our common home. In the Amazon, which encompasses parts of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, and French Guiana, they are committed to spreading the culture of buen vivir (good living) which seeks to live with roots of love for all people and in harmony with God’s creation.
Are we in the global north ready to journey in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the global south? The Amazon Synod invites people of faith to be attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our times and to listen to and dialogue with poor and indigenous people as they labor to sustain the rainforest and preserve the lungs of our planet. In faith, and not fear, they urge us to pray and to discern the changes we must make individually and collectively to be in right relationship with one another and with our common home.
- How can I, as a person of faith living in the U.S., open my heart to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Amazonian Church?
- What does encounter, dialogue, discernment, and solidarity look like for me in these times?
Ellie Hidalgo is co-director of Discerning Deacons, a project to engage Catholics in the active discernment of our Church about women in the diaconate and to contribute to the renewal of the diaconate for our times. Previously, she served as pastoral associate at Dolores Mission Church and School in Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles, CA. Ellie received her master’s in pastoral theology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is based in Miami, FL.