Monday, November 23, 2015

Long live Christ the King!

Sunday we celebrated the feast of Christ the King with an all-parish Mass in San Agustín.  We started at nine o’clock with a procession. The Mass ended about 1:00 pm.

Over a thousand people came from almost all the towns and villages of the parish – arriving packed in busses or, more likely, in the back of pick ups. There were a good number of young people which, for me, is a good sign of the health of the church in our parish.

Today, Monday, happens to be the feast of Blessed Miguel Pro, the Mexican Jesuit, whose final words before the firing squad killed him were “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” I find his story amazing - especially because he seems to have been somewhat of a prankster - as he tried to hide from the Mexican anti-clerical authorities. But for him, Christ was King - not any secular authority.

There were shouts of “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” yesterday in San Agustín, but our pastor, Padre German, was insistent that this was not a call of triumphalism (though he didn’t use these words.) He insisted on a crucified king. 

The image that was carried in the procession was Christ, crowned with thorns.

Padre German gave a long homily and I forgot to take notes. But one point was that this is a king who sees the face of the marginalized, of the poor, of those who are outside – and welcomes them. He also noted how Christ's reign is in contrast to the corruption and violence around us in Honduras.

He reiterated the call of Pope Frances for a church that is called to be open to all – not closing doors.

This is what I find really refreshing in the parish of Dulce Nombre – the call for all of us to be real missionaries, moving out beyond the easy and the comfortable. The people I find are especially appreciative of the openness to the sacraments that Padre German has brought.

A great challenge – and thus a great place to be.

Padre German receiving the offering - fruits of the earth and the work of the people
- dulce, home made sugar -

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