Saturday, March 27, 2010

Humanity and Health, 5th friday of Lent

March 26, is for the Ministry of Pastoral Health, a Day for a more humane world for Health care in Guatemala. On this day the Clinic closes shop and all our workers join others from our Diocese, who work in Health care, to listen to the message of our Bishop, Pablo. The workshop was in Matzatenango, about 40 minutes from the mission, by bus. It was blistering warm as the sun beat down on the tin roof and small ventilators brought a cool breeze.

The theme was suffering, as part of human life, not as a punishment from God for sins. No one escapes suffering and suffering can only be overcome through LOVE. Put ourselves in the shoes of one suffering, this is the advice of our BISHOP. He asked us to encourage others to offer one´s suffering for others; it can transform lives.
We participate in Pastoral Health as a road to salvation. Death does not have the last word; God is present with us. We are instruments of HIS LOVE. Monday we return to our busy day in the Clinic, inspired by the message we hopefully took home with us.

In the evening, Sr Mary and I went uptown to the fifth Friday of Lent procession. The streets were lined with spectators and others carried the heavy statues in large platforms in purple satin robes as they processed slowly, stopping at different homes that had displays of the different stations of the CROSS. The youth are very present in the procession. All over the country, in large towns and small communities, the processions lead up to the dramatization of HOLY WEEK! and the Resurection of Jesus. This is a country with violence and suffering but yet a country with deep faith and Hope.