This past weekend,
I watched a documentary called Sons of Mezcal.
It is about the mezcal (a tequila-like spirit) industry in Oaxaca, Mexico with a focus on the importance of the generations that participate in its successful production. For many, Oaxaca is the center of the Mexican culture and mezcal is at the center of Oaxaca’s. The documentary depicted the land where the agave plants are grown, how they are cared for, when harvest occurs and how they go from plant to a distilled spirit. In every part of this sequence, I could not help being struck by the sense of family, tradition and community that permeated the film.
This was quite a powerful testimony to how deeply engrained family heritage is to the people in Oaxaca.
It was clear they valued the hard work done by those who went before them to get them where they are today.
As I said on Sunday, we stand on the shoulders of giants and should be thankful for those who have gone before.
As we celebrated All Saints/All Souls on Sunday,
we remembered those in our lives that made us who we are today.
We remember their gifts of work, character and faith
that have brought us to this point in our lives.
I asked us to think about the inheritance
we have received from our elders.
Who are those people for you?
How would you be different without them?
What opportunities did they open up for your life?
In the His words to those gathered seeking healing from Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus challenges those there with legacy living.
“Blessed are you who are poor,Luke 6:20-22
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”
This is a call to be different.
To realize our poverty in the view of this world
while understanding the value of God’s kingdom and its riches.
To be passionate in the pursuit of God’s kingdom values for all, realizing that God will, one day, make all things right.
To be sympathetic and empathetic to the struggles in this world, understanding that our freedom is found in living under the reign of God’s grace.
To see the world as it is and the responses by those against God’s kingdom values as not a threat to us or a judgment of us,
but of the call to leave the reign of sin and accept the gracious gift of God’s redemption.
This kind of living leaves an impact.
It is different.
It is noticed.
It is valued.
And its legacy is felt into the generations.
It is the weight I feel weekly as I imagine the lives of the people who have gone before us who called Holy Trinity home for the last 168 years.
Can we live in this way for the sake of others?
Can we accept the inheritance procured for us by Jesus
and described by Paul in the reading from Ephesians chapter 1?
“We have also obtained an inheritance…
so that we… might live for the praise of his glory.”
The life of the faithful is meant to be a reflection of the glory of God and an invitation for others to see and follow.
Brothers and sisters, let us live in such a way that the irresistible love of the God is seen by those we know and love, and may it be our legacy for those that come after us.