My parents were second-generation Americans. They grew up speaking a native language and practicing customs of an “old” country, as they called it. But they did not share the same nationality. Their countries of origin were only separated by the Ionian Sea, but my grandparents were not impressed. In America, it took a while before they were no longer seen as foreigners. Throughout history, people have been a suspicious lot. We gravitate to those who mirror ourselves—speaking the same language, sharing the same culture.
With the advent of commercial DNA testing, it’s now possible to learn much more about our ancestors. My parents would have been surprised to discover our family history goes well beyond the borders of two countries. While we don’t need DNA tests to recognize that we are all linked together on this earth, let’s be grateful for this scriptural reminder that we are promised a shared citizenship in heaven.
Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.
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