Hope reigned today. As hundreds of Spanish speaking congregants gathered at the Pastoral Center in Gainesville for Palm Sunday Mass, the clouds looked ominous and a mist filled the air. But inside this converted shopping center the faithful sang hymns of hope that their long-expected King would bring a long-awaited hope.
Shortly after the Eucharist, I was invited to share some words about the Holy Week Pilgrimage for Immigrants. As I stood before my brothers and sisters who had just partaken of the body and blood of Christ, I was fully aware of the sacred space I was about to enter.
Standing at the altar, I shared that just the weekend prior hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their allies gathered in Washington, D.C. to cry out to President Obama that change takes courage. “But this week,” I said, “we are crying out to the King of Kings, asking for the courage to change ourselves and the injustice around us.”
After the service we went outside and lined up two-by-two. In the open air the charismatic group of St. Michael’s was selling tasty tortas. A woman was selling exquisitely made crosses and other ornaments made from imported palm leaves. Reporters from TV, radio and print were all there too! “Blessed is he who migrates in the name of the Lord.”