Friday, March 6, 2015

Just A Poor Boy From The South Bronx

I thought I should share a recent reflection.

Growing up in the poorest section of The South Bronx, instilled in me a realization that dark clouds are always in the horizon.  I saw countless individuals, families, and friends seeking to make "good" choices in the midst of a insular community filled with very few beacons of hope.  Yet the decision to survive under the dark clouds derailed many "good" choices.  The pervasiveness of death, the death of ideas and of "good" choices, seemed to become the norm.  So when I first heard the call to ordained ministry, I could not see how God could use me as a beacon of hope.  So I ran and ran and ran away from saying yes.  I was focused of survival.  All the decisions I made were about survival.  Some would say that I should be proud about the fact that I have beat the odds dealt to a poor Spic from the South Bronx.  My response would be, I am just good at surviving and I am not at all different from the others in The South Bronx.

Yet there comes a time when living a life just focused on survival becomes death.  Such a life does not allow one to enjoy the beauty of creation.  My choice to sit in the fire escape attached to my parents apartment was not about enjoying beauty but about survival.  It was a high enough place to be outside and not succumb to the violence of the world below.  

There comes a time when one just becomes tired of running.  Especially since it does not offer rest or joy.  When I became weary of running and trying to live of life of survival, I realized that God was still calling.  God was waiting patiently for this moment in time.  

So my challenge to the readers of this blog entry is:
  • When you chose to stop running, how will you respond to God?  
  • If you have stopped running, how have you responded to God?

Paz y Bendiciones,
Padre Juanito