Two or three friends on social media were drawn to one of the non-Biblical readings assigned to the Easter season. My occasional sense of alienation was poked by this passage, a small part of the larger text:
They live in their own (parishes) as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as (servants), but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any (parish) can be their (home), but for them their (home), wherever it may be, is a foreign country.
The reading has only the simple designation “letter to Diognetus” in the Liturgy of the Hours. No author. I had never heard of Diognetus. Interesting: an anonymous letter written to a person otherwise unknown to the ancients. I was surprised to find the LotH title was enough to locate this link.
I suppose more people of faith will see themselves in the political situation in the wide world rather than a relative few who abide in the insular world of ministry. I did find it a curious serendipity that two friends, a priest and a consecrated virgin, each noted this separately. I suspect neither shared my sense of it as a lay minister. Though I know the parade of assignments from place to place can wear on a priest. Some clergy I know have become rather hardened by the experience and never find roots. Others root too deeply.
I read this Monday after my morning lectio, and I was moved to return to it again yesterday. The full passage troubled me, and I try to attend to those affective responses. They usually mean something’s afoot.