Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mañanitas, Music, Food, Fellowship.

Saturday morning at 5:00 A.M. our community will be gathering in the Sanctuary of our Church to celebrate our salvation and the conversion of the indigenous people of Mexico.   This celebration is called Mañanitas.  It begins with singing.  I remember last year when I attended with my wife that the music filled the room with vibrant voices trilling out the Spanish language like song birds lifting their song with the angels in worship of God.  The pews themselves rumbled softly and the paper in my hand resonated in time to the music.  The unfamiliar sounds of instruments I had not seen used before brought my mind to attention.  One sounded like the gentle murmuring of a stream in a forest on a spring day.  Another like bells and chimes.  All gathered together into a sound that was both sublime and human, much like our Church.

I followed along as best I could.  I am far from fluent in Spanish but I enjoy being there, being with my brother's and sisters as we worship God together.  That's the beauty of the Catholic church.  It's universal.  That's what Catholic means.  It's not an English church.  It's not a Spanish church.  It's not a Chinese church.  It's not a Russian church.  It's a church that extends beyond the lines of any country, any language, any culture.  Men of every tongue and every nation gathered together throughout the world in a singular form of worship to praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for what he has done for us. 

No matter where I go, no matter what language they speak or what cultural differences I find, if I step into a Catholic church for Mass I will find familiarity.  I will find people who are worshiping God with me.   They hear the same readings.  They hear the same words from the altar.  They celebrate the same God, the same way, under the same Church established by the authority of the Apostles themselves, build on the bedrock of Christ himself.

Too many see our parishes as separate.   They see it as the Anglo community and the Hispanic community.   They see things like Mañanitas  as something the Spanish community does.. but it's not.  It's something our community does in Spanish.  They are us.  We are them. One.  We are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.  We are not several different churches in one building worshipping in different languages.  We are one community with many different people, in different countries, in different cultures all drawn together in One, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.  The Body of Christ.

So consider going with us at 5:00 Saturday morning to Mañanitas  at Saint Catherine of Genoa.  If you don't speak the language that's fine! Listen to the music, open your heart to God in prayer, follow along if they have hand outs, and if they don't?  Lift your heart to God and honor Mary, Our Lady of Gudalupe, for her infinite yes to God's will.  Come be a part of the community.  It's time to stop letting society, political affiliation, national borders, social stature, or any other label prevent us from being one.