Vincent grew beyond his original zipcode ministry!
In today’s polarized political environment few have not heard of “identity politics”!
“Examples include identity politics based on age, religion, social class, profession, culture, language, disability, education, race or ethnicity, sex, gender identity, occupation, sexual orientation, urban or rural habitation, and veteran status.”
Anyone who is not in the “in” group is “othered”, not taken seriously, etc.
As I was thinking about that yesterday, this is so different from Vincent’s “politics”. Vincent may have started in the rural zip codes in France but he soon began to realize that the spiritual and material poverty he woke up to in Chatillon and Folleville existed also in the zip code of cities like Paris… and beyond.
This insight was apparfently still developing when latter in his life he wrote in sending forth his missionaries,
“…our vocation is to go, not just to one parish, not just to one diocese, but to all over the world, and to do what? To set people’s hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did. He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with his love.” CCD XII:215
If Vincent and Louise went beyond zip code politics we who claim to be followers of him and his model Christ the Evangelize of the Poor should get over our zip code approaches to life.
Come to think of it didn’t Jesus say
“as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel (Good News) to every creature.” Mark 16:15
Isn’t that another way of saying we all are, thankfully, in God’s zipcode? Yet more importantly, do we understand that the way Vincent did? Jesus’ words echoed in his mind and life “If I, your Lord, have washed your feet”… Become a foot-washing disciple!
How about us?
- Are our zipcodes too small?
- Which zipcodes do we exclude from our lives … and ministries? (See list above.)
- Do I realize that we all, thankfully, live in God’s zipcode?