A Surprising Incident

Dear Friends,

Here we are on the first Sunday of 2020! I am hopeful that the first few
days of this decade have been treating you well. It’s a New Year and it
seems to me that most of us are embracing a new approach to living a
healthier, less complicated life. Even though it’s a new year, I insist we
continue our habit of getting out early on Sundays to embrace Nature
and move our bodies for mental and physical health.

On January 1st, I attended mass at our local church to commemorate my
mother’s second anniversary in Heaven. Although I am not a regular
church attendee, I have had many opportunities to be part of assemblies
that included the current pastor as a result of my association with the
Hogar de Ancianos. My personal opinion of him is neutral but many of
my acquaintances and colleagues have biased viewpoints that recount a
person who likes to control every aspect of the congregation’s business.

The pastor’s sermons are often long but I am impressed with his ability
to use accessible examples to make us understand where he is headed in
his talks. This week, he devoted a lot of his sermon to giving a farewell
speech since he has just been assigned to another parish after a second
three-year run in Atenas. These assignments were twenty-two years
apart, his return had not been met enthusiastically by all parishioners.

At the start of mass, I had glimpsed Carmelina (our town Angel) in
church. During the mass, she lit some candles and made her way to the
altar. I was fascinated by the scene I was observing because she worked
while the pastor was delivering his homily. He seemed not to notice her.
Eventually this tiny figure arrived at the lectern and began to talk to him.
He bent down and listened to her for about five minutes. When he faced
us again, he gave us a list of the things Carmelina wanted us to pray for.

I was immediately sent on an internal journey that caused me to miss the
rest of his lecture but awakened me to another side of the pastor. I saw an
example of compassion as he leaned with undivided attention towards this
barefoot, unwashed, frail and somewhat lost woman. In that moment, he
was practicing authenticity and humility in a situation where he had no
control. I am glad I got to see this side of him and wish him well in his
new endeavors.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

Picture of Carmelina and Pastor Vinicio my own

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