Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Celebración y reflexión en el Domingo de Ramos en Mecca

Por Petra Alexander
Directora, Ofecina de Asuntos Hispanos

Las palmas del desierto de Coachela se agitaron nuevamente con los cantos de Hosana! El Obispo Rutilio del Riego presidió una doble celebración: el Domingo de Ramos y el Día de César Chávez.

En la asamblea de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe se percibía una esmerada preparación, todos bien dispuestos, con un orden ejemplar a pesar de que había una numerosa concurrencia afuera del templo, todos, con una mezcla de sentido festivo y a la vez, una reverencia solemne por tratarse del Domingo de Pasión con que se abre la Semana Mayor. Numerosos campesinos vestían orgullosos sus camisetas de la Unión Campesina y portaban sus distintivos, junto al altar, la imagen querida y recordada del líder que creyó en la justicia para los que trabajan la tierra.

Terminado el relato de la Pasión según san Lucas, el Obispo Rutilo en su homilía, nos invitó a seleccionar diversos sentimientos humanos que se entretejen, positivos y negativos. La Pasión es un escenario donde se asoman los más terribles sentimientos que puede experimentar la humanidad: la traición a la amistad, el orgullo, la arrogancia, la cobardía, el sufrimiento, la tortura y finalmente la muerte. Pero también hay sentimientos nobles: la compasión de las mujeres, la lealtad silenciosa de Nicodemo y sobre todo la inocencia de Jesús, su No desesperanza, su confianza sin límites en el Padre, que le coloca más allá de las humillaciones y su amor sin límites a los hombres que le pone siempre en la dimensión del perdón. Todos estuvimos representados en la Pasión y lo estamos aún. Todos necesitamos contemplar y meditar la Pasión buscando el lugar que nos corresponde en ese abanico de sentimientos.

Jesús en la cruz es la identificación de Dios con su pueblo oprimido y sufriente, con los presos injustamente condenados, con los crucificados a las situaciones precarias que pasan extrema necesidad, con los radicalmente rechazados. Un líder como César Chávez se solidarizó con los crucificados de su tiempo, abrazó esa cruz hacia la conquista de sus derechos como Hijos de Dios. Los que sufren en la tierra continúan demandando de nosotros ese abrazo solidario, compasivo y liberador. Así nuestro trabajo por la justicia se une a los méritos benditos de nuestro Salvador.

Terminada la Misa, en la explanada del Santuario, diversas agencias ofrecían información y servicios. Líderes comunitarios dirigieron mensajes de ánimo a la comunidad, animando a mantener vigorosa la herencia espiritual de César Chávez.

Celebration and reflection on Palm Sunday in Mecca
By Petra Alexander
Director, Office of Hispanic Affairs

The palms from the Coachella desert stirred once again with the songs from Hosanna! Bishop Rutilio del Riego chaired a double celebration: Palm Sunday and César Chávez Day.

At the assembly of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one could tell that everything was well prepared in detail. Everyone was willing to help and set order, even though there was a very large crowd outside the church. The atmosphere was a mixture of a festive day, yet an inspiring Passion Sunday, which is the day that begins Holy Week. Many wore their Farm Worker Union shirts proudly, representing their background. Beside the altar stood the beloved image of the leader who believed in justice for those who work the land.

After the reading of the Passion according to Luke, in his homily, Bishop Rutilio invited us to select different human feelings that are intertwined positive and negative. The Passion is a scenario where the most terrible feelings of humanity are experienced: the betrayal of friendship, pride, arrogance, cowardice, suffering, torture and ultimately death. But there are also noble feelings: compassion for women, the silent loyalty of Nicodemus and especially the innocence of Jesus; his unbounded confidence in the Father, which allows him to overcome humiliation and forgive. We were all represented in the Passion and still are today. We all need to contemplate and meditate on the Passion, looking for our rightful place in that range of feelings.

Jesus on the cross is God’s identification with his people who are oppressed and who are suffering, with prisoners wrongfully convicted, with the crucified who pass through extremely precarious situations, and to those who are radically rejected. César Chávez, as a leader, expressed solidarity with the crucified of his time; he embraced the cross to achieve their rights as children of God. Those who suffer on Earth continue to demand of us that supportive embrace, both compassionate and liberating. Thus, our work for justice joins the merits of our blessed Savior.

After Mass in the forecourt of the Shrine, various agencies offered information and services. Community leaders sent messages of encouragement to the community – “vigorously maintain the spiritual legacy of César Chávez.”

3 comments:

  1. yes, It was a wonderfull celebration,people from diferent believes,polititians,agencies,doctors and a lot of people , we were around 3500 for the celebration, bishop Rutilio and Petra Alexander did an axelent job, good for the farm workers, Cesar Chavez union members good job.

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  2. It was a privilage to host the Cesar Chavez Festival of Unity on Palm Sunday,Bishop Rutilio give an exelent homily, we were touch by his words, and after luch some people give a talk about, health, education and imigration reform, music, food, and a lot of fun,the assambly men was there,the city council also were there,Petra Alexander gave a talk from her harth, tank you Petra,the purepecha comunity and they introduced candidates for the Festival de la Uva 2010,the Festival of Unity ended at 4:00 P.M. Gracias. Fr. Eliseo Lucas

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  3. Yes, this celebration really was a memorable one. Just the atmosphere alone was something to remember. Being present myself, it was so wonderful to see so many people show up to pay their respects to Cesar Chavez. The mass with Bishop was beautiful and full of much spiritual insight. Would definitely recommend it to all!

    Anyone know if this is a yearly mass?

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