After three months with a full summer in México, my equipaje is packed with great excitement to return to the United States on these shores of the Americas. Yet, while I am excited, I look back to a wonderful experience at the belly button of the moon.
I sit here in a very crowded airport on the eastern part of México city and I can begin to hear home as many tourist speak an all too familiar language to my ears. Yet, I would lie, if I told you my heart was not heavy as the clock ticks away to board for that plane which will speed me home.
What really strikes me are the three tables which I have eaten at today. They become the hallmark of my time here in México. So mixed with a few pictures allow me to share my experiences at the three tables:
THE FIRST TABLE
For the past month, five times a week, I have sat at this wooden table around six wooden chairs. The table along with the plates are decorated with colorful flowers. The plates are framed with a beautiful red while the utensils sit on top of the napkins with bright green handles. At the center of this table is a Lazy Susan or a carousel from which spins the daily tortillas and sugar for the coffee. At this table of six sat five people everyday with me at one end and the pastor at the head of the table. It has been a table where the Spanish which I learned in the classroom came more alive … not because my Spanish was perfect, but because it was imperfect. There, I learned to laugh at my mistakes. Listened well to the corrections, shared stories of my life back in the United States and others sharing the stories of the things that only happen in México. My heart was a bit heavy as I said, “hasta luego” to people who became my friends, who cooked for me, fed me, taught me the hospitality of the Mexican people.
THE MIDDLE TABLE
In an unexpected move, my Vocation Director joined us today as we made our way for a final Mass at the heart of the Catholic faith on these shores. We celebrated the Eucharist at the central marble table at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. My heart was overflowing with gratitude as I looked out into this little Church and saw hundreds of pilgrims gathered around the Virgin Mary and though we may not masterfully speak the same language, Mary welcomes us as her children and disciples of her Son. This table is of the utmost importance because at this table flow the whole purpose of who we are as human beings in a vast universe, loved by a God who knows us so intimately. This table breaks our political views, our structured systems. At this table, we become family in which we do something utterly scandalous to those looking in: we commune with the Almighty God.
THE FINAL TABLE
To those who know me well, Mexican Food has not necessarily been on the top of my social eating list of old. Yet, during my three month stay in México, I have come to love the food and hospitality of the Mexican people. I found myself surrounded with brothers in a circle shaped table following Mass to enjoy Mexican food. I looked around and came to appreciate the fact that many of us are pilgrims in our own right. We all have left our homes to follow Christ, we left our personal dreams and ambitions to follow a greater calling in life. We look at our own frailties and realize that in them, Christ is made strong. At this final table, I realized once again that I was not alone in my journey of faith … as difficult as it may be at times. And to God I am grateful.
Lord, thank you for these three tables, I say to all who I have met these past three months, “Encantado de conocerte” ….
I will surely miss the beautiful sound of México:
Check out these snapshots into our time in México:
Our Lady of Guadalupe brought Jesus to the México people. Regina Magazine put out a great article on this 500 year old phenomenon. The random presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary in México:
Here is a glimpse to the cultural face of México. Such a beautiful city:
México offers countless museums to visit. Here was one of my favorites, Museo Soumaya:
For my final month in México I lived in an area filled with art and culture:
A final note:
I’d like to say something about this beautiful little book I read while in México.
This book is a beautiful reminder of how we all long for friendship and for belonging.
The Little Prince lived on Astroid B-612. In 1909 it was viewed once through a telescope by a Turkish astronomer. It was a simple planet with three volcanos, one of which was inactive. The Little Prince cleaned them out constantly and at the same time took care of the one rose that was precious to him on his little planet. In all his adventures he met various adults who were preoccupied with material things of life and those other things which adults get caught up in when they become adults. The prince reminds me of the important things in life: relationships.
México has reminded me of the necessity to be childlike in the sense that I’ve had the opportunity to be so near Our Lady of Guadalupe who reminds us that we are her children and she is mother of us all. Let’s not be too fast in growing up and loosing our childlike qualities! It is not until we embrace that childlike heart that we can enter the kingdom of God.
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