Monday, December 10, 2012

Virgin Day

Occasionally someone will ask us why we are involved in church planting in Mexico, a country that is, after all, "reached."  After I allow my heart rate goes closer back to normal, I usually say something like, "Really?  How much to do you about Mexico's unique version of Catholicism?

Where do I start?

Probably the most celebrated holiday in Mexico is December 12.  More than Christmas.  More than Easter.  Even more than Independence Day (which probably a close second).  This is probably a rather subjective, personal evaluation, but I've lived here for nearly 20 years now.  There are more processions, pilgrimages, fireworks and rockets on this day than any other.


Because people worship the Virgin of Guadalupe.  More than Jesus.  More than God the Father.  She gets all the attention.  In a Mexican Catholic's version of the trinity, the Holy Spirit gets the boot in favor of the Virgin. December 12 is the day that she supposedly appeared to the (now canonized) Indian Juan Diego.  On a hill in northern Mexico City called Tepeyac in 1531.

Today we saw many pilgrims on the way to school and back.  I had to wait for some of them in order to pull out of a parking lot.  The carry heavy pictures of the virgin on their backs.  Some walk with canes.  Others are on bikes.  Some carry torches at night.  People expressing their devotion to the Virgin.

It's sad.  Mexico is not reached.  Don't believe that.  Please.

Quote of the Day: We should not think that one culture is less idolatrous than the next. Traditional societies tend to make the family unit and the clan into an absolute, ultimate thing. This can lead to honor killings, the treatment of women as chattel, and violence toward gay people. Western, secular cultures make an idol out of individual freedom, and this leads to the breakdown of the family, rampant materialism, careerism, and the idolization of romantic love, physical beauty, and profit.
Keller, Timothy Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (p. 130).

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