Deacon-structing Mexico – Part 4
February 24, 2016
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Over the last couple of days, I’ve been sharing with you what stood out most for me during Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico. First it was his focus on young people and the challenges they face. Next it had to do with how we respond to challenges that we all face in the light of sin. Yesterday we looked at what Pope Francis had to say to Marriages and Families. Today, let’s end with his message of Divine Mercy.
You Are My God; In You I Trust
Pope Francis’ message of Mercy during his Mexico trip was loud and clear. At the Sunday Mass in Ecatepec he said,
“He is the God who has a name: Mercy.  His name is our wealth, his name is what makes us famous, his name is our power and in his name we say once more with the Psalm: “You are my God and in you I trust”.  Let us repeat these words together: “You are my God and in you I trust”. (Homily at Ecatepec Study Center in Ecatepec, Sunday, Feb, 14, 2016)
To Mexican Bishops he said,
“Only a Church able to shelter the faces of men and women who knock on her doors will be able to speak to them of God.  If we do not know how to decipher their sufferings, if we do not come to understand their needs, then we can offer them nothing.  The richness we have flows only when we encounter the smallness of those who beg and this encounter occurs precisely in our hearts, the hearts of Pastors.(Address to Mexican Bishops at Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption, Mexico City, 13 February 2016)
With regards to the rich vastness of Mexican cultural and ethnic heritage he told indigenous people,
“I ask you to show singular tenderness in the way you regard indigenous peoples and their fascinating but not infrequently decimated cultures.  Mexico needs its American-Indian roots so as not to remain an unresolved enigma.  The indigenous people of Mexico still await true recognition of the richness of their contribution and the fruitfulness of their presence.  In this way they can inherit that identity which transforms them into a single nation and not only an identity among other identities.
He added,
“And yet, on many occasions, in a systematic and organized way, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society.  Some have considered your values, culture and traditions to be inferior.  Others, intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them.  How sad this is!  How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to say, “Forgive me!”  Today’s world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you!” (Homily during Mass with Indigenous Communities in Chiapas, Feb. 15, 2016)
And with young people, he used a rock-climbing metaphor:
“If you see a friend who slipped up in life and has fallen, go and offer him or her your hand, but do so with dignity. Put yourself on their level, listen to them and don’t say: “I have the solution for you”. No, as a friend, slowly give them strength by your words, give them strength by your listening, that medicine which sadly is being forgotten: “the therapy of listening”. Let them speak, let them share their experience, and then little by little, they will offer you their hand, and, in the name of Jesus Christ, you can help them. But if you go in suddenly and begin to give them a sermon, going on about the same thing, well then, he or she will be worse off than before.” (Address during Meeting with Youth in Morelia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016)
Co-creators with God
Pope Francis traveled to Mexico as a missionary of mercy and peace. Ultimately his message was one of hope. He ended his address to representatives of the World of Labor by saying,
“What type of culture do we want for those who will come after us? What air will they breathe? An air tainted by corruption, violence, insecurity and suspicion, or, on the contrary, an air capable of generating – and the word is crucial – generating alternatives, renewal and change? To generate is to be co-creators with God.” (Address to World of Labor in Juarez, Feb. 17, 2016)
And if I can say so, it is Divine Mercy that allows us to be co-creators with God because it is this Divine Mercy that invites us to conversion:
“Let us together ask our God for the gift of conversion, the gift of tears, let us ask him to give us open hearts like the Ninevites, open to his call heard in the suffering faces of countless men and women. No more death! No more exploitation! There is always time to change, always a way out and always an opportunity, there is always the time to implore the mercy of God.” (Homily During Mass at Fair Grounds in Juarez, Feb. 17, 2016)
His last words in Mexico were:
“The night can seem vast and very dark, but in these days I have been able to observe that in this people there are many lights who proclaim hope; I have been able to see in many of their testimonies, in their faces, the presence of God who carries on walking in this land, guiding you, sustaining hope; many men and women, with their everyday efforts, make it possible for this Mexican society not to be left in darkness.” (Farewell Address in Juarez, Feb. 17, 2016)
Indeed, may the presence of God who continues walking in and guiding the land of Mexico, continue to sustain it with hope, mercy and peace.
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photo credit: Pope Francis arrives to pray at a cross on the border with El Paso, Texas, before celebrating Mass at the fairgrounds in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Feb. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching:pedro@saltandlighttv.org

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