Hospitality and Evangelization-Reflection 1/12

On Saturday afternoon several of us visited the local parish church-Nuestra Señora de la Asunción-to pray. It was clear as soon as we came into the square in front of the Church that there was an event going on, but when we approached the church somebody in back assured us we had at least a few minutes before a quinceañera began. As we settled in in front of the tabernacle the caretaker of the church spotted us and came over, asking to show us around. He took us into the sacristy, showing us all the Church’s chalices and other vessels and describing how old they were and where they came from.

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
The nave and main altar

He took us into the bell tower and pointed out where everything was when the church was founded in 1531-making it one of the oldest churches in the Americas!

The bell tower.

He assured us it was okay if we stayed in the side chapel during the quinceañera Mass, and afterwards he found us again and brought us into the back room to see the parish’s image of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the early 1600s. It was leaning against the wall between the Three Kings mannequins from the Nativity scene and the Easter decorations.

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the early 1600s

I was amazed at the hospitality of this man, but more than that I thought he was the perfect example of evangelization. This man was so excited about the blessings he had from God, in this case his very special parish, that he didn’t wait for people to come to him, he found us and brought us to see it and share it with him. How often am I that on fire for the faith? Or that eager to share God’s blessings with those I meet? I want to be more like that man at Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, bringing out the good things God has done for others to share.

A side altar featuring Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Our Lady, Assumed into Heaven, pray for us!

-Jake Epstein

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