And here it is Sunday. The sun actually peeked out for about an hour so the shirts I washed 3 days ago could dry a little.
I was able to go to my Berlin church today for the first time in over a month. I did attend several churches in Iowa last month, but there is something special about my Berlin church home.
And it was a good mass with a great message. Father Cándido was leading the mass today and it is always a joy to hear him preach. And as he was walking down the aisle to begin the service, I noticed he was walking without his cane! He was wearing regular shoes! (Well Crocs, but close enough to real shoes). And he did not look like he was in pain. What a joy to see. He did not, however, sit at the usual priest’s chair that sits about 3 steps above the altar. They moved a chair down next to the altar for him to sit. And he sat when he did the homily.
The basic scripture text was “love one another.”
It seems a simple message. It seems a simple task. But what does it mean. And why do we have such a difficult time actually following that command?
He said a lot of the problem of the violence in this country is due to the break down of the family. So many people are leaving the country to find work. Families are split. Children are separated from their parents and left with little or no guidance.
He said it was the responsibility of the government to do something about this. They need to find ways to keep families together. Jobs need to be created. Work with a livable wage. Work with dignity – work that will provide what a family needs to survive.
He also spoke a little about the problem of very young people and their promiscuity. And very young people getting ‘ajuntados’ so young. This is getting married but not legally – it is a common law living together arrangement very normal and accepted here. People are looking for love and looking for love wherever they can find it. Usually looking in the wrong places and getting in trouble which creates a difficult future for themselves and the children they bring into the world.
He said we need to stop looking for love in such a selfish way. We should be giving love. Not just any love, but the love of Christ. This is a pure love where we take care of one another. Listen to one another. Protect one another. If we can do this, perhaps more people will feel loved and therefore stop looking in the wrong places. If people feel loved and valued, perhaps they will not feel the need to use violence.
It was a simple but a very strong message.