In the time that we have spent in Mexico City (aka distrito federal or DF) during our orientation we have been staying at a convent with some pretty wonderful nuns. We have been constantly reminded through them and our host families in Tepoztlán what hospitality means and how it can warm the heart of a traveler far from home. They have graciously cooked us wonderful meals, practiced their english with us, welcomed us with big smiles every morning for breakfast and shared stories with us.
|Interior courtyard of the convent|
Hermana Faviola, who has become particularly special to us, has shared with us her knowledge of history, language, La Virgin de Guadalupe, the political situation in Mexico and her experience with inequality here and from her time living in the United States years ago. But there is one particular conversation that took place shortly after we arrived at the convent that I really value.
After talking about many challenging things our world faces, our country coordinator asked her: What keeps you going? What gives you hope?
Hermana Faviola said, well of course it was Jesus, and she went on to share that Jesus gave the disciples the commandment to love their neighbor as themselves.
She used her hands to illustrate: with her palms up she held them at unequal heights as if she was a balancing scale. Then she slowly brought one hand up and the other down so that they were equal. She explained that Jesus brought God down to us and into each and everyone of our neighbors. She pointed to each of us and then to the other guests at the convent who were there. “You have a lot of work to do,” she told us.
Ealier today another hermana joined us for our closing worship service together. She also joined us for our ending “group hug.” At the end she pointed to the altar. She called our attention to the fact that Jesus is holding his hands out (it reminded me of the hug we were in!) and that he looks like he is ready to tell us something: “Proclamen a todos el reino de Dios” (Proclaim to all the kingdom of God) it said above.
Across the world and across denominations and religions I have felt the church alive, vibrant, loving and welcoming.
Sometimes the gospel is written in very subtle ways in the world. Other times it is spelled out for you.
“What gives you hope?”
“Jesus, of course!”
En todas las cosas... sea Dios glorificado. (In all things... may God be glorified.)