Yesterday I drove to the Shrine in the mountains and as I entered the grounds I saw a woman who, at one time worked with me at the Archdiocese of Denver Hispanic Office. When she saw me she came to the car but I could not open the door or roll down the window. No matter what I tried and what buttons I pushed, the door and window would not open. She yelled, "Are you going to mass here?" I nodded and she said, "I'll see you then." I parked and when I entered the chapel I felt as if I was in Mexico. The Rosary was said in Spanish and everyone around me seemed to be Hispanic.
We were told that the priest was running about fifteen minutes late. We listened to the musicians and choir practice until the priest arrived. When I saw him I was surprised because he was a priest I knew from when I worked at the Hispanic Office of the Archdiocese. What a coincidence that I would see two persons from my past.
He looked older and I remembered when he arrived, as a young man, how he took classes to learn English. Later, I heard that he was now a Monsignor which meant he was moving up in the world of a priest. Even though I had known him for a time, I had only heard his sermons in broken English. Yesterday, I saw a different priest. His homily was full of knowledge and he teaches in a humorous manner. Before long everyone was laughing while learning.
The gospel was about Moses meeting God and the burning bush. He is a good speaker in his own language. I realized what I have heard all along, priests need to speak Spanish for the multitudes of new arrivals from Latin countries. I liked his analogy about milk and honey. Milk is used to feed new born babies, for revitalization, to make strong bones and to grow, and the milk would help the Hebrews grow strong in their faith. The Hebrews were slaves to the Egyptians and had to work until sweat ran down their face.Who has tasted sweat? Yes, it tastes awful, but honey is the opposite and that's what the Hebrews would find in the promised land. A sweetness in their lives to come." When he said how Moses was hesitant the priest asked, "How many of us are asked by God to follow a few rules, but we, as the Hebrews did, think we know better!" He encouraged everyone to try and follow the Lord's teachings.
After mass he called all the children up to the altar for a blessing. There must have been thirty or more children jostling to get near the priest. He had fun sprinkling them with holy water as he went through a litany of: "Obey your parents, be good, stay out of trouble, don't harm anyone, help those in need, don't fight with your siblings, and so on. I liked that he had a smile on his face as he sprinkled the water and I could see how the children loved being splashed with the water.
On exiting he seemed surprised to see me and asked how I was doing and I asked him "how is your English?" We chatted a bit and I left when I saw the many persons wanting to talk with him. I never met up with the woman who used to work with me and figured she got lost in the crowd. I would have liked to catch up on what she has been doing after not seeing her for ten years.
Yes, I have to agree, God works in mysterious ways.