Bishops At The Border-Rev. Chava’s Reflection-Weeping with Jesus
Here is a beautiful reflection by Rev. Chava Redonnet, woman priest of the migrants.
Please view the pictures through the links, I joined Chava in crying.
In our community we had a family who came from Central America
through Mexico to Florida where they had family and friends.
We did all we could to help them stay.
But they too were deported despite the many gifts they
had to give in the community here.
To see the Holy Eucharist served through the fence
is a meditation for Lent and Holy Week.
The Bishops who did this are in the steps of
Pope Francis and in the shoes of Christ.
There is a lot wrong with the Church, given the
sex-abuse scandals and the
man-made rules of the church that exclude rather than include.
But this is what is RIGHT.
Rev. Chava’s Reflections
Oscar Romero Inclusive Catholic Church
Bulletin for Sunday, April 6, 2014
5th Sunday in Lent
This week, an international group of bishops went where the church belongs:
with the suffering people. They went to celebrate Mass at the border
between Mexico and the United States, in Nogales, Arizona, where the border
cuts the town in two. There were people on both sides of the fence, and
folks on the Mexican side thrust their hands through the slats of the fence
to receive communion.
When I saw the photos, I cried. I thought of our friend who was deported in
January, who was last heard from at the border. We don’t know where he is.
I thought of all those in our little church, including my darling Santiago,
who will be going to court in the coming months, who without a miracle may
well end up on the other side of that fence. I thought of the friend who
cannot visit her sick daughter in Mexico, the funerals people couldn’t go
to, the grandchildren never seen. They are just a few stories out of the 11
million undocumented people in this country, but I don’t cry for 11 million
people. I cry for my friends.
Then I looked down at the sermon I was trying to write, on Jesus raising
Lazarus from the dead. “Jesus wept.” Oh. Jesus wept for his friends, too.
He healed a lot of people, he responded with compassion, but it was for his
friend that he wept. And I thought of what Shane Claiborne said in “The
Irresistible Revolution,” that the world doesn’t need more activists, it
needs more lovers. He said that the world is desperately in need of people
who build deep, genuine relationships and “actually know the faces of the
people behind the issues they are concerned about.” And “allow those
relationships to disturb and transform them.”
Scott Peck said, “In community lies the transformation of the world.”
Community – deep, genuine community where we know each other well enough to
share our stories, to care about each other, to walk with each other in the
good times and the bad. All of us can be builders of community. We can
listen, share, know the people around us. But I think for it to be that
transformative type of community, it needs to stretch beyond our own known
world and into the uncomfortable world beyond. Like Gustavo Gutierrez said
in “A Theology of Liberation,” we need to go out of the way to make people
There is a photo from the Mass at the Border, of hands sticking through the
fence, waiting to receive communion. You can’t see the people, only their
hands. But there is also a photo of one of the bishops, perhaps having just
given someone communion, clasping that person’s hand and talking to them
through the fence. True relationship requires more than a handclasp, but
it’s a very real start. May it be an instrument of transformation: may this
Mass at the Border set a fire that will turn this terrible situation of
Blessings and love to all,
Links to several articles about the bishops’ Mass on the border:
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Community of Liberation, Justice and Joy
Worshiping in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph’s House of Hospitality
402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620