by Julieta Borja
San Antonio Los Ranchos was the host community this year. For four months we worked together on the preparations for this event. The Solidarity Walk is very important for us because it allows us to recreate an environment of peace. The walk gives us the opportunity to learn again how to work as a team, as one community, or even better said as a one whole family, the big family of Sister Parish.
The Solidarity Walk helps us to strengthen the linkages of solidarity among the people of our communities, since families, neighbors, friends, and co-workers come to work together on details, logistics, altars, the stations, reflections and also to look for financial resources.
As the Regional Coordinator for El Salvador I feel so proud of each of the committees that work so hard every year to organize the celebration and make each event even better than past years. I’ve seen the effort and dedication of the El Salvador Directiva members in preparing an event filled with energy and colors, but more importantly filled with love and a profound sense of gratitude for life and for the invaluable gift of friendship they have received from God.
This year each committee, while they organized the Solidarity Walk, they decided to divide the expenses and designate themselves a certain dollar amount to raise what we needed for running the event. They also asked for resources from their municipalities.
Seeing their work and developing ideas with them during the planning made me think about something I learned years ago in one of my theology classes. In looking deeply, reading deeply, and reflecting deeply on the Gospel, how many times is the phrase “the kingdom of God is here” mentioned? Looking, reading or reflecting deeply on it would give us the answer to this frequent question we ask to ourselves.
Now I understand the answer clearly. The Kingdom of God is there right in front of us. It is here and we are part of it. We participate actively every time we work together by developing actions that build a more world with more harmony, especially when we organize to show our gratitude, our solidarity, and the love we share through the friendships we have maintained during the many years of sistering relationships. I am certain now and every time by doing my work with community committees that we are walking on the right path. We all are building the kingdom because we have received the grace of being face to face with God every time we work face to face with our brothers and sisters in southern and northern communities.
The Solidarity Walk in El Salvador was started with the idea of showing gratitude for the northern churches for all the support and friendship they share with southern communities. This seems like the most natural response to me – to give love for the love received. This is the spirit that moves us to work together for the creation of a new world where we all are workers, peace builders who work for justice by sharing our gifts and love on the common table of fraternity, overcoming the barriers of race, culture, and social status.
The Solidarity Walk once more taught us that we all share a common table where there is a piece of bread, a plate and seat for everyone, as we walk together as brothers and sisters and members of one church.