After staying overnight in Dulce Nombre, on Friday morning I went to Camalote for their Via Crucis. They didn’t have a copy of the parish’s Stations and I had left my copy at home. So we improvised – reading the stations from an i-Pad!
After the Stations I went to Don Rodolfo’s house and laid down fro about 90 minutes. I was exhausted. Later talking with him I found out he was 76 years old and had 20 some great grand kids. I would have guessed he was in his mid or late sixties.
After my siesta I went to Pasquingual, a small town. As I arrived, my friend Olvidio came out to great me. The Stations were ending and so I headed to meet them as they walked through the community.
We celebrated the Office of the Passion about 15 minutes after the Stations ended. We needed the time to arrange readers. Since I wasn’t feeling well and my voice was weak, I left almost all the readings and prayers for the people.
What really surprised me was the quality of their reading – especially the three guys who read the Passion. Often people stumble over words or run the sentences into each other. But here almost everyone read very well, including two young kids.
For me, a moving part of the Good Friday service is the Veneration of the Cruz. I watched as people came forward – old men and women, kids, young men, and all the rest to reverence the cross.
At the end a drunk who had been hanging around came forward and knelt before the cross, crying.
After the service, I found out that he wasn’t from the community. He came up to me several times and began to talk. At one point he said that he knew that he was crazy: “Soy loco.”
I immediately responded to him, “You are not crazy; you are a child of God; God loves you.” Yes, you have troubles, but God loves you. I asked his hims name: Cristobal - Christopher.
I urged him to find an Alcoholic Anonymous group.
I really felt bad that he has such a low sense of his own worth. That’s why I was so direct with him, speaking of God’s love.
I don’t know if he grasped much of what I said.
As I was about to leave, he asked me for a ride, but my policy (and the policy of Padre German) is that we don’t give rides to drunks. The possibility of danger to them, falling off the truck, is too risky. But I explained that to him as well as I could. He seemed to understand.
So this Good Friday will be for me the Good Friday of the “crazy” drunk, whom God loves – even if Cristobal doesn’t know it.