"Not so easily was I remade as made. He spoke and all things were made. But while he made me simply and at once by a word, he has in the remaking of me said many words, and worked wonders and suffered much." (St. Bernard)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Mi casa es pequeña."

"Mi casa es pequeña."

I woke up this morning to these words in my head:   "Mi casa es pequeña." Last night, Jefferson, one of our youth, uttered these words to Matt and I as we were leaving his house. Matt and I went to visit his family before Mass. His parents and some relatives were there. Immediately, when I entered, the father grabbed the nearest bench for me to sit on. And, as I was sitting down, the chicha was being placed in my hand. The people here know what it means to serve, giving what they have, as little as it may be. I recall the scripture from Genesis 18:1-8. Abraham rushed to meet three strangers and then he invited them to rest, wash their feet and eat. He happily called himself their servant. At first he didn't even realize that he was serving the Lord and His angels. Even in Hebrews 13:2, it is written: "Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels." How beautiful are these words!

Matt, Jefferson and I
Now, I am not saying that Matt and I are angels - though our moms might say so :)- nor are we the Lord, but the fact is, we are called to serve not be served. And we truly serve our Lord Jesus when we serve one another. Yet, He must serve us first. Where does Jesus serve us first and continue to serve us? In Mt. 20:28, Jesus connects serving to the giving of His life as a ransom. He serves us first in the sacrifice of His life on the cross. And it is in the Holy Mass where He continues to serve us, giving us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, so that we may go forth bringing Jesus, who we have received, to others.

In the Spanish Mass of the Catholic Church right before we accept the Eucharist we say: "Señor, no soy digno de que entres en mi casa, pero una palabra tuya bastará para sanarme." In English: "Lord, I am not worthy that you enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." After saying these beautiful words, which are taken from Mt. 8:8, we humbly approach our Lord and faithfully receive His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist, His sacrifice made present to us today. For, it is Jesus who brings healing: from our sins, from our struggles, from those who hurt us. And though our 'casa' is small, our bodies like grains of sand compared to God, and not all-together tidy, He desires to enter.

From left to right: Jefferson, Padre José, Cristian, and Nicolas

Then, we can better serve others because we have allowed Jesus to first serve us. We serve by going forth to provide for those who are hungry, for those who are thirsty, rest for the stranger... (Mt. 25:35). It is true... Jefferson's 'casa' is small. Six people sleep in a room smaller than most living rooms in the States. But, what I entered into was not a small 'casa' at all. What I experienced was a family of faith, already living in the Kingdom, the largest 'casa' of all.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Faces of Ahuano

Matt and I had a really great week. As we approach Padre's final day here in Ahuano, we are definitely spending more time with him, helping him as he prepares to leave. It has been a joyful week, full of many Baptisms (~30), a marriage, a celebration of the La Virgen del Huayco, and tons of masses. We visited with several different families, bringing the Word of God into people's homes.
I wanted to include in my blog update some of the many people we have come to know.

Sisa and I goofing around.

Belén and I... ¡Qué linda!

 Padre José celebrating a marriage. May God bless them abundantly.

At a mass celebrating La Virgen del Hauyco. Here is a statue of Mary with the child Jesús.

Celebrating the Feast of the Virgen of Huayco in the community Colonia Bolívar. Before mass, Matt and I lead the rosary and gave a reflection on La Virgen del Huayco. Such a beautiful night!

From left to right: Marci's mom, myself, Tammy, Matt, Helen, María Cristina
Some of our youth guys: Cristian, Nicolas, and Jefferson 

I can't believe that Matt and I have been here almost 8 months. It is moving so quick. This week we receive one of the new priests to Ahuano. We are so excited for this new opportunity to share the Gospel with another of our brothers in Christ and are hopeful for the blessings that will come from the hands of this servant of God. Pray for us, that the hearts of the people and ours will be open for the reception of the new priest. Pray that his own heart will allow Christ's love to penetrate. Peace and blessings to each of you.

Give them heaven!
Misionero Ryan