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Contemplation of the Incarnation in Cornellés (Bolivia)

January 1, 2017

In this place that seems like “the end of the world”, I came across people of deep and solid faith. I could not imagine that people could live in this part of the mountain. We boarded an SUV with the parish priest of Capinota. He himself did not know where the little temple was; we went up and up … and we did not find the place. The road was narrow, and enormous cliffs were visible. A companion suggested that we stop searching, saying that we had been climbing for a long time and that we were not going to find the place. But the priest said, we have to get there! We will find them! At last, we found a group of four children waiting for us at the edge of the road. They told us to leave the car. In the Quechua language they showed us with their hands and with their running up and down the path where we had to go. I will not forget the smile of those children and the life that they transmitted. The community of Cornellés was waiting for us. They were dressed in their finest clothes. They had been waiting patiently for over two hours. Some of them had walked for hours to attend the Eucharist. We also met a father and then a mother of children that we have or have had in the boarding school of Buen Retiro.

We celebrated the Mass in Quechua, except the readings that were in Castilian. I do not remember exactly the quotation from Isaiah, but what kept coming back to me were the words “justice”, “right”, “peace”, “hope” and that God accompanies the people. Although I did not understand the Quechua language, in that celebration I felt God’s presence very strongly. I was amazed at how the Word of God came to these people. And I thank the people who come to this place. It communicates, as mediation, that God is with them, that he accompanies them, that he never forsakes them.
They had not had a Mass for a long time. During those months several people had died. They had been buried in the small cemetery nearby. After the Mass and the blessing with water for all the people, the flowers, the cross, they asked the priest to go and bless the tombs.

As I watched them, their faith, their hope, their strength were communicated to me. I can not explain how they can live in that area. They shared with us the best they had to eat, despite the great drought and food shortage.
I question so many things about my life ….
I am overwhelmed, I contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation in them …
His Presence is being mediated through them. I thank God for this experience made possible for me.

Pakea Murua fi