The Feast of the Annunciation can go unnoticed, especially within Lent. Christmas overshadows the unfathomable event of the Incarnation. God uniquely entered humanity and the world when Mary said YES! Jesus ushers in an incarnated faith that seeks reconciliation and justice. Rituals are insufficient. It’s about ‘whatever you do to the least…’
Today’s second reading states:
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight…” (Heb. 10: 5-6)
So, what delights God? We can look to Jesus in the Gospels to recall his priorities, his focus, his way of proceeding. Many holy people can remind us of Jesus.
As director of the Encuentro Project, a border immersion program, I’m regularly affected by witnessing the recurring paradox of how unjust human suffering brings out love and solidarity in many.
In Anapra, Juarez, a small group of impoverished women who have battled cancer started a sewing cooperative to support themselves since they cannot hold a physically demanding factory job. When MPP—the Remain in Mexico policy—was implemented, these women of Junt@s Vamos (together we journey) opened up their nascent cooperative to women (with children) asylum seekers from Central America who are vulnerably waiting in Juarez for months. The women, in turn, send the proceeds from their embroidered handbags to needier family members in their home countries. All in our immersion group cannot but be profoundly moved by the authentic solidarity.
Let God inspire you to show you how we can delight God. Let’s not routinely repeat what we’ve done during Lent, or give up something that might be inconsequential. There’s much suffering around us. How is God calling you to become aware, reflect, and act?
Fr. Rafael Garcia, S.J., from the UCS Province entered the Jesuits in 1983 and was ordained in 1993. He was born in La Habana, Cuba and grew up and studied in Miami, where he practiced as an architect until he felt the call to be a priest. As a Jesuit he has served in parishes as pastor at Sacred Heart, El Paso for, for 13 years; Immaculate Conception, Albuquerque, for 5 ½ years and St. Francis Xavier, Kansas City, for 2 ½ years. He currently resides in El Paso, assisting at Sacred Heart, a Jesuit parish, engaging in ministry with migrant and refugee persons, including at immigration detention centers, and as director of the Encuentro Project.
El P. Rafael García S.J., miembro de la Provincia del Centro y del Sur de los jesuitas, entró al noviciado en 1983 y fue ordenado en 1993. Nació en La Habana, Cuba, y creció y estudió en Miami, donde ejerció como arquitecto antes de sentir el llamado al sacerdocio. Ha sido párroco en la Parroquia Sagrado Corazón de El Paso TX por 13 años; en la Parroquia Inmaculada Concepción de Alburquerque NM por cinco años y medio; y en la Parroquia San Francisco Javier de Kansas City por dos años y medio. Actualmente reside ayudando en El Paso, donde ayuda en la parroquia Sagrado Corazón. Trabaja con migrantes y refugiados en centros de detención y también es director del “Proyecto Encuentro.”