Day 3: Hoping in the Invisible
I once asked my parents why they had decided to undertake the frightening and dangerous journey of leaving Mexico and illegally entering the United States. Their answer: por ti, por nuestros hijos.
“For you, for our children.”
In that answer, they revealed to me that their sacrifices were eased by their immense hope. Even more astounding, they hoped in something physically invisible. They were willing to endure the pain, injustice and rejection that immigrants suffer in the Unites States for the sake of what are now their four Mexican-American children. They had faith that God would guide them in this journey and that we, as their children, would fully flourish in this country.
Hoping in the physically invisible: isn’t that what we are called to do as Christians, especially during this time of Lent? We are entering a time of sacrifice while waiting in prayer for the resurrection of Christ. We wait for something that is, in almost every way, impossible. And yet we hope within this impossibility, within a miracle that we may never physically see. We hope in the resurrection because we have felt Christ alive in our hearts. We trust in his words and in his loving message. For us, this is enough to foster hope and strength as we enter into these 40 days of solemnity. It is like the hope and strength that my immigrant parents received as they imagined the faces of their unborn children.
- What sacrifices have you made and would you be willing to make for your family?
- What sacrifices have you made and would you be willing to make for your faith?
Andrés Arteaga is an artist, dancer and writer (as well as a former Jesuit). He promotes the arts in marginalized communities as tool to overcome social oppression. He plans to pursue an MFA in Arts and Politics in the near future.
The personal example of Arteaga’s parents is powerful! Made me reflect on Jesus’ followers those 40 days before the Resurrection and after Jesus’ Ascension. How were they sustained? How did they stay the course meeting obstacles all along the way? How do I, we, the church? We need anchoring to our Hope, our risen Jesus’ promise of new life. Thanks for this powerful message.
These questions are hard. Andres has such a beautiful and clear example of his parents’ sacrificial love. So often sacrifice comes in much less clearly marked packages, and is often much more subtle. After reading today’s reflection I found myself wondering about all the sacrifices my family has made for me. My mother stayed home and made her children her job. I am unbelievably thankful for her daily presence in my life growing up. My father worked long hours at a demanding job to make sure his children did not want for much. My sister always had my back. She scared away the boys who pestered me on the playground in Elementary school and she invited me to eat lunch with her cool Senior friends when I was a lonely Sophomore lacking friends of my own. My brother is the ultimate gift giver. He would sacrifice hours and money to give the perfect gift. That is how he shows his love. My husband is one of my modern day heroes when it comes to sacrificial love. I can’t count the ways he sacrifices in both small and large ways on a daily basis both for my sake, and for the sake of his community. All of these sacrifices were and are made in the midst of the mess. Family is not without complications and challenges, but I too often forget the sacrifices that were made for me. So this morning I say thank you to my family.
So beautiful! And Emily your comment reminded me of all the sacrifices made for me. Beyond my beautiful family who gave me everything. Of course the original gift and sacrifice of Jesus but through the years the people whose name I might not recall, the underpaid and unpaid who gave to and for me out of hope and love. The teachers and teacher’s aides, crossing guards, police and firemen and women, the health care professionals, janitors, nurses and the aides who worked double shifts and who often sacrificed to teach, heal and protect me. They were all integral to molding me and others into a person who has received and recognizes grace and love and who in turn wants to give back. Today I thank them as well.
Thank you, Andres Arteaga, for sharing your story! God Bless your parents for having the courage to make the journey. They provide a great example of perseverance to all of us, most importantly during the difficult times. While they might have been unsure as to where they would end up, they kept the faith toward that ‘physically invisible.’ Thanks for sharing! Go SLU Billikens!