Over the past few years I have preached several parish missions in Little Rock, Arkansas. My principle connection there is my cousin, Deacon Dan Hennesey. He gave my name to the folks at Christ the King Parish there as a possible priest
for that parish's annual June mission trip to the diocese of Trujillo, Honduras. I gladly accepted and will be going to Little Rock to fly down with the other members of the mission team. There is some small amount of trepidation (the usual stuff that you might imagine) along with my enthusiasm. I ask for your prayers not only for myself but for the wonderful people that I will be with. The mission includes not only an evangelization team which I will be a part of, but also doctors, dentists, nurses and others who will be sharing their skills. I got to meet some of them along with Bishop Sole' ,bishop of Trujillo in February after I preached a retreat to the Knights of Columbus of Arkansas and their wives. That meeting added to my enthusiasm.
As I've thought about preparing for this great opportunity I've given some thought about what this trip might mean. I've wondered what I might bring to the experience but as I have continued pondering that question I've also begun to ask, "What gifts might the people of Honduras have waiting for me?" With that in mind my thoughts went to a homily given by my confrere, Dan Lanahan, OFM during his recent stay at our friary. He talked about the importance of receiving as an aspect of love. Receiving is different than taking. Taking includes a sense of entitlement. Receiving means being open to the gift that another has to give, or even asking another for help. He pointed out that we usually ask for help from people that we trust and care for.
In thinking about Honduras I have been praying that I will not only share with the people there whatever gifts that I might have but also that I will be open to the gifts that they have for me. It is so easy for us Americans to think in terms of what we have to bring to people from a poorer country, and indeed we have much to give. At the same time I am going with an open mind and heart to be ready to receive the gifts of the people there.
Once again please pray for all of us. I will let you know about the experience after I return.