We pray you are well. It is from our prayer for you that we are blessed and feel immense joy because of the mystical connection from the fruits of prayer that grants us peace and the sense that we are united with you as a family in Christ, despite the fact we are thousands of miles away from you living in such a different world than we have ever known.
As I found myself this morning lamenting and weeping to our Lord of the discomforts and hardships, we have faced this passed month or so, made me realize that it has been a while since I have updated you. Perhaps it is a passive attempt by our Lord to remind me to humble myself and ask for prayers. As well as a great reminder to not skip my own personal prayer time, no matter how busy the mission here becomes.
I must say that the last 5 weeks or more have been challenging, in the sense it seems that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the task at hand. Our family routine has all but gone out the window and the effects of mission life has indeed impacted our lives in an uncontrollable way, needless to say the out of control feeling I have had recently makes me anxious despite the fact the Lord says “can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” Matthew 6:27
This week has been no different, as we juggle work projects, home visits, funerals, the unexpected knocks on the door from those who seek medicine and food, the relentless heat, having no privacy at home as now our family is now living without walls to our two neighbors (due to our neighbors construction), and I cannot fail to mention the deadly riots in the streets, as yet again Peru impeaches its third president in as many years and the uncertainty that it brings.
Nevertheless as faithful servants of our Lord we know we were called to die to ourselves, we know that we are called to perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy for those we live among. Yet, this month makes me realize how far from a saint I am, because I fight so much to be comfortable, likable, successful, merciful, graceful, joyful all in hopes to become the perfect missionary saint. As I reflect on the life of Mother Teresa and how she ceaselessly gave of herself every day to everyone, creates an immense desire to strive to become like her, I stand in awe of her compassion and merciful love she had for all. She stands as a reminder of my daily failures despite the fact that, as each day I awake, I pledge my desire to be more Christ like than the day before. Still at the end of each day as I reflect and discern upon my many failures and sins, I cannot help but remember that I have fallen short once again, You may think of it as a dark time however it is just the opposite as I become filled with joy and gratefulness of knowing of the merciful love and forgiveness Jesus has to offer to the repented soul.
The Lord has indeed been merciful and loving to me by directing me in my prayer time to the book of 2 Corinthians. As Saint Paul writes of human weakness, discouragement, and the difficulty he faces as a disciple of Christ. Two verses resonated with me in which I would like to share with you.
“But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;” 2 Corinthians 6:4-8
Saint Paul goes on to write
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
After reflecting on Saint Paul’s words, it makes the familiar quote of Pope Benedict reverberate in my heart as he said “But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” Such words of encouragement.
My heart became full once again as I was met by Jesus as I prepared this Sunday’s reflection for our remote Pueblos that we visit each Sunday. It is truly amazing how He speaks to us and knows our desires, our troubles, our anxieties, and our weaknesses, because despite all of this He knows we are worthy to be His disciples.
In fact, nowhere in the entire liturgy of the word this Sunday does it say that one must seek personal comfort or their own desires or will. However within the readings it is clear that we will be judged, and that those who heed the warnings and strives to complete the mission at hand; which is to see Jesus in the face of the poor, to constantly seek them out, careful not to turn a blind eye or use an excuse by claiming “ that there is no time in the day to care for someone in need” or the best trick of the devil, believing if you had help someone already that there is no need to help the next beggar you may pass or the next person you may meet that may be thirsty. The call is to give without limits and without anxiety of our own personal needs or discomforts. As we are called to reflect on this Sunday’s readings the message that we must proclaim with Joy in our hearts and with the upmost confidence that “the Lord is our shepherd, and there is nothing we shall want!” Because through him we can complete our mission despite the hardships and human discomforts we face while completing them. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
You are in my prayers and I pray that we all my one day hear the words of Christ say
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
I beg of you to please continue to pray for us, we especially ask for prayers that we may remain strong and faithful servants this season.
I have attached a few pictures hoping that they may allow you to feel more connected with the mission here. We are so grateful and extremely honored and blessed to have you as a mission partner. Your generosity to the poor and your merciful love for us fills our heart, thank you!
| Gabriel is helping mix cement for the footing for the home project. |
Adobe bricks have dried, know its time to assemble the house, but 1st we must make deep cement footing to support the weight of the adobe walls.
Our dear friend Trifiilo passed 11/2 after an aggressive battle with cancer.
All the little saints made a Rosary walk to the cemetery, where they participated in a celebration of the word and lighted candles for their family members who had passed.