Saturday, August 06, 2016

How long?

When I came to Honduras in 2007 and for several years after, people asked me how long I would stay in Honduras?

My response was “hasta que Dios quiere,” which was my loose translation of my response when an English speaker asked me the same question – “until God calls me somewhere else.”

My English response was deliberately ambiguous, partly because I thought I might remain here until God calls me home – and that’s not to the US.

Yesterday, listening to a program Radio Progreso to commemorate 70 years of Jesuit presence in Honduras, I heard a Jesuit say that some of the early Jesuits who came from the US and other countries came with the intent of staying here until they died. He put it in a really beautiful way: They wanted to die and be buried here so that on the last day they would rise with the people they had worked with.

It’s about resurrection with the community of faith one lives with.

Thus I have no plans to move from here and I want to be buried wherever I die. If I die here in Plan Grande, I hope that there is a place in the cemetery in nearby Candelaria. But that won’t be my call – thank God!

But if God calls me to somewhere else, I pray that I have the detachment to leave here and follow God’s call.

This struck home this morning when talking with Padre German about the death in Mexico on Thursday of father Henry Rodriguez, a priest of the diocese. The details of the transport of the body are complicated and who knows when we will have the Mass here.

But it also struck me because today the Capuchins are celebrating in Ocotepeque fifty years of their presence in the diocese. I had thought of going but…

Finally, my ordination as a permanent deacon for the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán reaffirms my initial thoughts.

Now I am no longer identified as a missionary. As a deacon and thus a member of the clergy, I am a member of the church of the diocese, a member of the church of Honduras.

When I was ordained, I was in a real sense identified and chosen – by God and the Church – to serve in Honduras in a special way, as an ordained servant.

How long? Until God calls me on…

Monseñor Darwin Andino offering me a greeting of peace at the ordination Mass

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