Friday, May 22, 2015

People Come... People Go... Friday May 22-final blog from Guatemala

Collecting my thoughts as we prepare to leave and sitting in the shade of a long Guatemalan afternoon I am gently reminded that we as human beings, if we choose to follow Christ as Christians, are gifted hundreds of times daily. The gift is the real "encuentros" that are given us daily as individual beloved creatures of our one true God. And we can if we choose, witness the rich and infinite images of the God of all creation. The sad fact is that all too often we see others defined by the personal opinions or stereotypes that we are unfortunately "formed" by in our lives.

So while I feel this may be my last trip to the mission; advancing age that causes difficulty in climbing into the trucks, requiring more bathroom breaks, and a once-iron clad stomach losing its iron, I reflect on the beauty and gift that was offered. Responding to gift is always a selfless act or it is no longer gift. Nothing less offered was the gift of Christ himself…the real deal, Christ as known from scriptures and His uncompromising command to love-love though service, love through offering mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness; love by meeting Him in all. To accept Him without conditions is a true gift received. Our Christ wears many faces, garments, and offers words to comfort, challenge, and renew.

I pray to always see in the poor the face of Christ. Nothing should be more desired by a Christian. It is what we long for in our central prayer, our Divine Liturgy when we are so blessed to be in this communion. Second it is to live the command accepted in baptism, love God and neighbor as taught by Christ. I witnessed this in the people who have given their lives to the mission, much better than I could ever do. From the local staff, leadership by long time lay workers and clergy, and the memories that they continues to live as a reminder to why we “mission in this place. Perhaps most of all is the gift of the great folks that we choose to love in the name of Christ, who chose us first. They show that withstanding sickness, poverty, scars still tender from war and its aftermath; Christ is still living in their midst.  May he continue to dwell in us all.


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