Saturday, October 03, 2015

Walking barefoot

Friday and Saturday morning the parish had a workshop for the delegates of the Word in two zones of the parish.

Delegates lead the Sunday celebrations of the Word in their communities when there is no priest. The challenge has been to have them go beyond the celebrations and work with the base communities structure in their communities. In some places, it’s working well; in others, work needs to be done.

Padre German began the workshop with a reading from Isaiah 52:7:
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
announcing peace,
bearing good news,
announcing salvation…
We evangelize he said, not just by our words but also by our presence.  And to make a point the fifty or so of us walked up from the church to a place a little outside town.  As we passed, in silence, the people looked at this strange sight of people walking in silence.

At a point in the road with an outstanding view, we sat down. Padre invited us to take off our shoes and socks and to ask ourselves if our feet are beautiful.

Then he invited us to walk on the gravel road in bare feet – and to be humble enough to stop when we couldn’t go further.

In silence, we walked – though I stopped after less than 100 yards. They continued on and back, a witness to their endurance of the pain of the road on bare feet.

As I look back, I recognize how spoiled I am – a missionary who can’t take a gravel road in bare feet, weak feet in contrast to the strength and endurance of the people I am supposedly here to serve, living a privileged life when so many suffer and still go on the missionary journey.

A good reminder of what I’m called to be and of how far I am from the lives of these people.

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