Today, we celebrate the “optional” Memorial of Junipero Serra. We have witnessed the mayhem and violence in the demands of certain groups to tear down his statues in front of churches and city halls.
While arguments could be made that his presence represented in statues carry a mixed legacy: one of protection of the native peoples and the other a projection of the empire’s power.
While the missionaries were carrying the saving power of Jesus, they also brought the harsh treatment of indigenous peoples…a legacy that will continue to be examined today. Through all this, however, the Church has named Junipero Serra a saint of the Church to honor his endurance in the founding of the California missions that would eventually number twenty-one. Even through the darkness of human endeavors, there may be the light of a halo ahead.
Our scriptures today remind us that Christ is victorious over all things, including the power of evil and death itself. As we recall the acts of darkness of the human mind and heart in the past and witness those same acts in these past weeks, let us hand over all to Christ and celebrate in the victory that will be ours who are faithful to his name.
Be assured of our prayers for you each day as we continue our journey together and apart.