by Karin Grosscup
Delegate from St. Joan of Arc visiting Tierra Nueva II in 2017. Read more delegate reflections and see photos of the delegation. Readings referenced below are from February 5, 2017: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 and Matthew 5:13-16.
To begin I would like to thank all of you for your generous spirit taking us into your lives and guiding our way. We have felt your love and protection as we have entered into your families and community. It is an amazing experience to walk down the street feeling connected with our host families and have members of your community coming toward us and welcoming us as well.
We came like Paul , in the reading from Corinthians today ,with weakness and fear as we are aware of the disparities in the world and the injustices in our government.. Paul came to Corinth to spread the news of Jesus and I think we came hear to receive the love of Jesus sharing our lives together and letting God’s power touch us. We are different people as we leave. We are humbled by the courage, grace and dignity of the people we have met especially in coming to understand the impact of economic injustices on people we have come to love. We leave with gratitude and a deep respect for all of you.
Our time here has included many visits to the memorials of people who have been murdered for standing up for justice as well as to Santiago Atitlan where Maya people were massacred due to systems of oppression. We live in a world that is interconnected.
What happens to you touches us and what happens with us touches you. We can only take one step at a time and yet when we meet and come to know each other, our hearts touch and we begin to see how we affect each other. It seems to me that is why we are always being called in the gospels toward justice. It is when there is mutuality in our relationships that God’s light shines through. We begin to taste such possibilities as we eat together, laugh together, and cry together.
The gospel today reminds us we are the salt of the earth. Salt seasons our food as well as preserves it. How do we season each other’s lives? The salt of our tears unites us whether from sadness or great joy. And what is it we are preserving for the future? Our trip to the IMAP reminded us how important our relationships are in creating a world that will thrive. It was a powerful experience of how God’s biodiversity is essential to the health of our earth where we learned of Maya culture and care of the earth. We couldn’t help but see a map for us as human beings as we live together with diversity and become stronger. Mathew reminds us of this today when he says to let our light shine. We are grateful to all of you that have strengthened our lights to shine.