Turbulent Sea

I didn’t take photos of the number of police, military road blocks, inspections, and document checking. All necessary.

All the southern states under close guard. Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz and the Yucatán live in a different Mexico.

Indigenous and migrants are the population. A bit of a two world situation, I wish not to offend or be critical. When anyone practices separate but equal, has no equality nor equitable society in mind.

Right on the Usumacinta River, Mexican Civil Service has permanent presence to offer aid and comfort. Perhaps some years with kindness, other years with contempt.

The American resistance to acknowledging institutionalized racism (critical race theory) is abandonment of millions here in Mexico and millions more in the USA.

There are 87 million people on the move worldwide. We must not forgo our imperative. Comfort, comfort my people, says the Lord (Isa 40:1). Do we read it only or live it fully?

The Walking on the Water.

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith,* why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God (MT 14:22-33).

I cannot stress enough my concern that Peter (the Church) is afraid. Afraid to do her mission of love beyond self and be the very help she is meant to be. Christ is our help! We too are to be help!

We cannot drown in fear!

You’ve seen Fr Rick’s guest newsletters on this block and pages. He stands in the breach in Haiti.

Fr Frank O’Loughlin stands in the breach for the Guatemalan among us.

We must come to the aid of those who do drown for no one to help them. Truth is the foundation.

Who can we stand in the breach for?

Quoting (paraphrase) Father Frank:

The immigration problem will not be solved with another program, another initiative. No, it can only be be solved with the imagination of faith. A conversion of sorts from Mine and Yours to Us and We, the family of humans.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Who am I, Lord, that you account for me?

Birds of Palenque.

Audio file:

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? (Matt 6:26)

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place What is man that you are mindful of him, and a son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a god, crowned him with glory and honor (PS 8:4-6).

The Lord will not fail you in hardship. Hardship is not a reflection of dignity. Our dignity comes from the Lord.

The Lord comes to our aid. Each of these birds he knows and loves. He hears them sing. He hears you too.

As for our own listening and hearing?

Failing to aid or oppressing one in hardship is a reflection of your lack of expression of your human dignity.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Call upon the name of the Lord

To Seth, in turn, a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the LORD by name (Gen 4:26).

Reflection

The agonies of man started a long time ago. Ever since we have called into the Lord for help and he responds most generously. In love.

The whole lifetime of Enosh was nine hundred and five years; then he died (Gen 5:11).

Enosh had a great, great, grandson named Enoch.

(This) Enoch “walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him” (Gen 5:24).

First they walked together. A lifetime. The Lord walks with those who seek him without a doubt. We can learn from Enoch.

He pleased God by sharing his life with God.

The whole lifetime of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years (Gen 5:23)

365 years of 365 days signifying for all times. A year of years.

When his days were numbered he was taken up to God. God heard. God answered Enoch’s deepest desire which is to be with the Lord forever )a year of years).

Parroquia Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Palenque, Mexico

https://m.facebook.com/ParroquiaStoDomingoPalenqueChiapas/

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Pilgrimage End

Every journey comes to an end. Finished all major objects so husband available time for the next journey.

Attending Mass at Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe was a fitting end.

https://virgendeguadalupe.org.mx/en/

Reflection

Psalms 122:1 NASB1995
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

At the most dangerous and difficult moments of this trip and there were several. I knew, with trembling knees nevertheless, the Lord was near

You too. You too.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Alien

Palenque, Tabasco, Mexico

Old Testament

When an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one. You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt.

I, the LORD, am your God (Lev 19:33-34).

You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt (Ex 22:20).

Reflection

One habit I picked up in Haiti is never drive an empty car. Someone always needs a ride.

The two men I drove to Palenque from the border of Guatemala were from Honduras making their way to jobs in Texas. Obviously can’t show you photos of them.

It can be our practice to share what we have anyway. WWJD? Yes, he would do that.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Diaspora

Psalm

By the rivers of Babylon there we sat weeping when we remembered Zion. On the poplars in its midst we hung up our harps.
For there our captors asked us for the words of a song;
Our tormentors, for joy:
“Sing for us a song of Zion!”

But how could we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget.
May my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem beyond all my delights (PS 137:1-6).

Reflection

This river is the last view of home for those making the trip from Guatemala to Lake Worth. Look back over the shoulder is the prayer of the diaspora.

Usumacinta River, Frontera Corozal, Mexico

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Pilgrimage

Song

I rejoiced when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, Jerusalem (PS 122:1-2).

Purpose

As we set out, we should remind ourselves of the reason for our resolve to go on this holy pilgrimage. This place is a monument to the devotion of the people of God.

They have gone there in great numbers to be strengthened in the Christian way of life and to become more determined to devote themselves to the works of charity.

We must also try to bring something to the faithful who live there: our example of faith, hope and love. In this way both they and we will be enriched by the help we give each other.

Reading

So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil (2 Cor 5:6-10).

Prayer

All powerful God, you always show mercy toward those who love you and you are never far away from those who seek you. Remain with your servant on this holy pilgrimage and guide their way in accord with your will.

Shelter them with your protection by day,
give them light of your grace by night,
and, as their companion on the journey, bring them to their destination safely.

Amen.

May the Lord guide us and direct our journey in safety.

Amen.

May the Lord be our companion along the way.

Amen.

May the Lord grant that the journey we begin, relying on him, will end happily through his protection.

Amen.

from Book of Blessings (494ff)

Cathedral of Puebla
https://www.mexicoescultura.com/recinto/66882/en/basilica-cathedral-of-puebla.html

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Baptism of the Lord

Called to the Victory of Justice
Greetings on this the Baptism of the Lord
Readings: Is 42:1-4, 6-7; Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10; Acts 10:34-38; Lk 3:15-16, 21-22
Notes: In the Baptism of Jesus Christ victory of sin and death are assured.

In our own baptism we die to sin and rise to new life.

First reading
Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

ALTERNATE FIRST READING:
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

How many need to hear: Comforting tenderness from the Lord. From us, too!

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord will bless his people with peace.

They look to you to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

Second reading
In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
is acceptable to him.

Alleluia Verse
The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.

Gospel Portion
From the first reading:
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench.

From the gospel portion:

Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”

Let us too be pleasing to God.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Confidence

Greetings on this the Saturday after Epiphany
Readings: 1 Jn 5:14-21; PS 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b; Jn 3:22-30
Notes: Concluding reading from the Christmas Season with Baptism of the Lord tomorrow.

Have confidence (called faith) in the one who made you and is faithful to you.

First reading
Beloved:
We have this confidence in him
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord takes delight in his people.

Alleluia Verse
The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

Gospel Portion
Have confidence in the Messiah.
Decrease, that he might increase in you.

The one who has the bride is the bridegroom;
the best man, who stands and listens for him,
rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.
So this joy of mine has been made complete.
He must increase; I must decrease.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Pray

Pray!

Greetings on this the Friday after Epiphany
Readings: 1 Jn 5:5-13; PS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20; Lk 5:12-16
Notes: I was at a convocation of priests with their Bishop (Bishop Barbarito) who said to them as follows (paraphrased):

  • I do not care if you are a good administrator.
  • I do not care if you are good at raising money.
  • I do not care if you are learned and can speechify well.

I want you to pray. Pray always. Without ceasing.
This is the way of a priest.

First reading
Beloved:
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

I write these things to you so that you may know
that you have eternal life,
you who believe in the name of the Son of God.

Responsorial Psalm
Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Alleluia Verse
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.

Gospel Portion
But he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.

Hyper-activity is not the answer.
Program upon program is not the answer.

The answer is prayer.
Then act.

Don’t worry.
Like Jesus’ answer to the man full of leprosy.

“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
And the leprosy left him immediately.

Pray.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry