The homily today is on the topic of belonging. Big thoughts.

When we are born, indeed even before birth, we belong to family. We are immersed in pre-partum ritual and in the anticipation of our arrival.

As we evolve we gradually become part of neighborhood and eventually experience a sense of community. We are embraced by place, politics and dialect, custom and convention. We finally graduate from atavistic cliques to what Kurt Vonnegut called “Wompeters, Foma and Granfalloons.”

We acquire belief sets, personal philosophies and prejudices from our surroundings as well as from our educational attainments. We become members of Cities, Counties, States, Nations and, if all goes well, we ultimately participate in the amalgam of humanity at large. And the essence we acquire from all this belonging makes us who we are.

For better or worse we are shaped by our participation. Choose your companions wisely for you will carry them with you wherever you go. Or, as W. C. Fields once said, “A man’s gotta believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.”