By Jess Nahmias
Each Friday night during Cuaresma (Lent) our parish in Arbolito held El Via Crucis (The Stations of the Cross). We walked throughout the neighborhood for several hours – singing, praying, and stopping at various homes to meditate on each station. Often we sang this song and the lyrics resonated with my physical and spiritual journey. Our parish offered me a witness, a light, with whom I could enter into the darkness of the Passion of Christ and a faith community with whom I could hope in the Resurrection.
In an overflowing chapel on Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday), Padre Juan Pablo carried a basin and pitcher of water and knelt down before countless parishioners to wash their feet. Although worn and dusty from walking with Christ through the streets of Arbolito, the parishioners’ ordinary feet soon became sacred as they encountered and received the extraordinary love and humility of Christ.
The craziest part? Christ’s love and humility doesn’t stop there. He does not just clean his disciples’ feet from dust; He cleanses our lives from sin. How harshly real it felt to walk with Christ in El Via Crucis Viviente (the Living Stations of the Cross); to hear the bitter shouts of “crucify him!” and the mournful cries of his mother Mary; to see him on the cross, right in front of me, right next to where we celebrate Mass, and to remember that He gave His life for me.
Our walk, however, does not end on the cross. Just as in the song, the Lord gives us His light, faith, and love to keep moving forward and hoping in the Resurrection. Jesus, in His Way of the Cross, reveals to us the Way of our Lives. Each of our lives is a way with crosses, suffering, and challenges, but it is the way to the joy of the Resurrection and eternal life. This year has been full of harsh and bitter moments intertwined with joyful and graced memories, reminding of the Way in which we are all striving to walk with the light, faith, and love of Christ.