When you take a pause to consider and ponder the why of life, it often takes you in search of beginnings. From the innocent questions of the young, as when a child asks parents how birth takes place, to the most erudite search for that first explosion that moved first principles into the weave of DNA, this search is embedded in each of us. More than mere curiosity, it has to do with the identity of the person and that self-knowledge that is indispensable for the individual, for the particular set of persons, and in the end for all of humanity as we continue our journey across the cosmos in a single planet called Earth.
Earlier in the week we celebrated the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Gospel text places the virgin mother at the foot of the cross giving us one of the most profound images of human and divine compassion. It is to be noted that this image does not remain buried in the past or even in the sacred text, it comes alive in every person and people who searches for the Lord’s compassion, human and divine. This seems to be the key. There has to be a searching that makes the encounter possible. The one we search has forever been searching for us.
The encounter creates life. This compassion, human and divine, in the image of Our Lady of Sorrows, is the expression of God’s gift of self. An identity is bestowed. The person or people are no longer the nameless object of misery, self-possessed is now the author of destiny and constructor of society. In the womb the same spirit that transformed Mary into the Mother of life.
It was not coincidence that on September 15, 1810 in the small town that today bears the name of Dolores Hidalgo, a banner with the other image of Mary, of compassion human and divine, the birth of a new nation was proclaimed. It is to be recognized, that the experience of famine, the structures of slavery and the desperate moan of centuries of oppression gave way to violence and uncontrolled tragedy. No matter the contradictions, the spirit, once given does not die. It journeys and becomes one (the ancients would call it hypostasis) with the history of the United States and that same experience of birth that took place on a 4th of July.
It is also not a coincidence that our parish is that of Our Lady of Soledad, she is Our Lady of Sorrows the expression of human and divine compassion. It is not coincidence, it is providence and vocation that calls us not to be guilty bystanders. To be participants in the task and mission of creating destiny and society. Much to do, let’s get with it.
Fr. Francisco Gomez, S.T.