Engaging The Word:

 A Series of Homilies & Reflections


Collection of Homilies written by Fr. Jesus Flores



(Further below you will find the homilies listed individually, together the reflection questions and suggestions for use)



Dear Friends:


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is a multicultural Church with many gifts that our diverse cultures bring to the greater Church at large. 



The homilies provided here by Fr. Jesus Flores, Diocesan Coordinator of Migrant Ministry, are prime examples of the unique spirituality of the immigrant farmworker Church -- and as such they offer us a unique way to experience the face of Christ.


These reflections explore the world of the migrant population here in our midst, and in doing so they give us an opportunity to better understand how immigrant farmworkers experience God and the Church, and they call us to change the way we experience God and Church ourselves. 


They can help us to experience Christ in a new way – to see an image of Christ in the migrant worker – an image of Christ that perhaps we have never before taken the opportunity to see.


The migrant Church comes to Rochester as a pilgrim Church, a people on the move, on a journey.  These reflections on their experience of a way of life in Christ can help us to better understand what all of us as Church are called to be.



Some might wonder why we would take the time to mediate on these homilies and reflect on the accompanying questions. 


I would suggest that we do so because the migrants in our midst have not come here by accident, but they have settled here among us as a concrete way for God to confront us and to challenge us in our beliefs. 


Their presence here cannot be chalked up to mere coincidence – they have come to this place, at this time, to be witnesses of faith among us -- and to call us by their witness to turn ourselves more deeply toward following the way of Christ.


By taking the time to try to understand the way of living life in Christ contained in these homilies by Fr. Jesus, we are given the wonderful opportunity for true conversion – for metanoia – for turning ourselves back toward God.



As you study these homilies and ponder these questions, I invite you to enter into this experience with the approach the apostle Paul calls us to in his letter to the Philippians:


Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,


Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.


Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,


he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.


We are called to approach these homilies with this same spirit of emptiness – we are called to begin our reading here by emptying ourselves of our privilege, of our assumptions, and of our stereotypes – in order to enter more authentically into this experience of sacred mystery.


We have a grace-filled chance to enter into this new experience of God through our understanding of the circumstances and predicament of the migrants.


It would be wonderful if our parishes could truly become spaces in which a pedagogy of meeting with people of various cultures could be realized.  Parishes could become better training grounds for hospitality, where an exchange of our rich experiences and our fertile gifts can take place.  Exploring the gifts and experiences of all of our cultures can challenge us into conversations so that our Church can truly be a sacrament of unity.


Migration, in the eyes of faith, is not a mere happenstance; it is a providential phenomenon.  This is the way I would like to see these homilies approached – as unique opportunities to experience the face of Jesus in a new way - and I invite you to bring people in your parish into this special opportunity so we can grow to be a Church where all our gifts are shared and everyone has a place at the table of God.


- Bernard Grizard

Diocesan Director




The Desert as a Teacher


Passing Beyond

Standing at the Foot of the Cross

The Boldness of Migrants

Community (Koinonia) is Salvation

Meals and Memory

The Good Shepherd

Migrant Spirituality

Knowing Were Loved


Following the Spirits Footprints

An Image of the Trinity

Bodies Delivered Over

In the Squall's Midst

A Prophet Never has Power

Both Settlers and Strangers

In Search of a Pedagogy From Below

A Boy's Initiative

Beyond Mere Pairing

Wealth and Pilgrimage



Fr. Jesus Flores Introduction

Reflection Questions


Suggestions for Using these Homilies to Develop a Spirituality of Pilgrimage