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Diocese of Sacramento

Diocese of Sacramento


Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament



Bishop Jaime Soto

Joy and Hope

by Bishop
Jaime Soto





We are known and loved by the Lord


There is a song on the radio the refrain of which goes like this:


Isn’t anyone tryin’ to find me?

Won’t somebody come take me home?

It’s a damn cold night

Trying to figure out this life

Won’t you take me by the hand

Take me somewhere new

I don’t know who you are

But I... I’m with you

I’m with you.


Avril Lavigne is the author of that song. It aches with loneliness, restlessness and fear. It was a popular song maybe because it said something about the uneasiness with which many people live today. What worries me about this song is the anonymity. We live in an anonymous society. The song talks about not knowing who you are and that does not matter.


But it does matter. It should matter to us as Christians because salvation consists of being known and loved by God. The Lord Jesus does know who we are. He says to each of us, “You know who am I because I made your hearts for me.” The Lord Jesus says to us, “I’m with you.…I know who you are and I’m still with you. I will stand by you. I will walk with you. I will even carry you.” In the eyes of the Lord Jesus, we are strangers and aliens no longer. We are fellow citizens. We are living stones held together with Christ as a sturdy, sacred temple. (Eph. 2.13-22)


In the Gospel, Jesus does not call strangers. He calls his friends. The list of those he calls begin with Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Simon and Jude and goes on through the ages until today. The Lord Jesus has added our names to the list.


We have no need nor should we ever have the need to hide in anonymity. We are known and loved by the Lord. We are also called to bring others out from the darkness to the light of God’s love. There is no greater poverty than the poverty of anonymity and loneliness. There is no greater treasure to share than that which the Lord Jesus has shared with us, “I’m with you.”


To be the temple of the Living God where the spirit of God has made his dwelling place is to be a people committed to solidarity, solidarity with one another especially those who are lost on the margins and those discarded by our throw-away society.


To the people of Darfur, to the people of Iraq we should continue to say, “I’m with you.” To the men and women who are in our prisons, to those looking for a job, to the immigrant family, to the young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy we should dare to say, “I’m with you.” Though we may not know them we know that the Lord Jesus knows them and loves them as he knows and loves us.


Solidarity, Christian solidarity, can be a powerful force of change. It is what will make us a temple of living stones -- sturdy, strong, sacred and saved. Solidarity is not a political posture or a militant slogan. It is a virtue, a eucharistic virtue. In the Eucharist the Lord Jesus says to us again and again, “I’m with you” and “Do this in memory of me.”


Joy and Hope Columns