jTatic Samuel, as he was lovingly known to all in this region of Mexico, was the visionary Bishop of the Catholic Church in San Cristobal de las Casas from 1959 to 1999. jTatic was the title the Mayan descendants, the Original Peoples of Chiapas, gave him and means "our dear father", a sign of respect and appreciation for his tireless work on behalf of the marginalized and the poor. There are many ways to describe the life and ministry of Bishop Samuel Ruiz, but there is a particular legacy that touches my life and the work of Global Ministries here in this southern state of Mexico on the border with Guatemala. jTatic Samuel knew he would not be around forever, but he saw his call to "see that justice is done, let mercy be (his) first concern, and humbly obey (his) God" (Micah 6:8) as growing and expanding in the organizations he helped to create during his time serving the church and the broader community.Read more
Our current president who just moved into government-subsidized housing in Washington, D.C. said during the campaign that Mexico was sending rapists and criminals to the U.S. I’ve met with many people here in Nogales that have just been deported from the U.S. They’ve told me, often with tears in their eyes, that they made the risky journey to the U.S. in search of work so that they could provide for their families back home in Mexico or Central America.Read more
Reflection transforms the march of time into productive moments of change. That is what I love about Lent. This season of waiting turns us toward reflection on many levels.Read more
As I was setting up my new house in San Cristobal de las Casas, I listened to an audio book I had wanted to enjoy for a long time. The following passage caught my attention:Read more
With pungent spice burns the resinous heart wood of the Montezuma pine, "ocote" in Spanish, drawing us round the Mayan altar. We gather, Christians and those who profess no faith, Tseltales, Tzotziles, Europeans, Mexicans, United Statesians, Canadians, and Lebanese, called by the smell, the smoke, the candles, and the flowers into sacred space. We pray for awakening to peace in the midst of the political crisis and government sponsored violence, we pray for courage as the diversity of the environment disappears around us, we pray for justice in communities devastated by migration, alcoholism, drug trafficking. We pray for the people of the United States to have the courage and perseverance, the wisdom and strength to stand in dignity, as the Mayan have stood again and again, over the centuries, bending under oppression, but not breaking, resilient and resistant. With each prayer we turn, East, West, North, South.Read more
Youth and children can learn more about children and teenagers from Mexico and Central America who have made long journeys to come and live in the United States.
For some people, the idea of building a wall between Mexico and the United States can be new. Not for the Reverend Dan González-Ortega, President of the Theological Community in Mexico. In an interview with Global Ministries, Reverend González-Ortega expressed his concerns and the challenges of rhetoric and executive actions regarding immigration.Read more
On my first morning in the bunk room at the Institute for Intercultural Study and Research (INESIN), the organization I will be working with in the city San Cristobal de las Casas, state of Chiapas, México, a familiar buzzing sound greets me on my way to the bathroom. I veer off course, hunting through the flowers, my eyes flicking back and forth as I know I will only catch a glimpse of the sound-maker. It is there and then in an instant, gone. The sound disappears. A hummingbird has welcomed me to the city and to this new life.Read more
“Y dio a luz a su hijo primogénito, y lo envolvió en pañales, y lo acostó en un pesebre, porque no había lugar para ellos en el mesón. Y dio a luz a su hijo primogénito, y lo envolvió en pañales, y lo acostó en un pesebre, porque no había lugar para ellos en el mesón.” Lucas 2:7
María estaba montada en un asno y José estaba caminando a su lado mientras viajaban por el muro fronterizo de Nogales en busca de refugio durante la Posada del Inmigrante. La posadas recreaba el viaje de hace 2000 años cuando a María y a José les fuera negado alojamiento en varias estaciones a lo largo del camino y son finalmente bienvenidos en un lugar al final de la procesión. Una lluvia fría estaba cayendo este día, pero por un breve momento, el sol salió y apareció un arco iris.
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 3:1-12
Prayers for Mexico:
Spirit of God, thank you for your love that includes the people in Mexico. Thank you for churches like the Christian Church Disciples of Christ and Iglesia Discipulos de Cristo de Mexico who work together to spread the news of your radical inclusive love. Spirit of God you move in us and through us and we are grateful. Your love changes things; it continues to change hearts and lives. Thank you for people, who are home and yet believe supporting the work of accompaniment is important. Thank you for love that is inclusive.Read more