"Todos Ustedes Son Muy Hermoso Pueblo"
(You're All Very Beautiful People)
By Maria Kopulos
"Keep Truckin'" is a motto I have been using as of late, and I believe it was used more by Jerry Garcia decades ago. The question is maybe why "stop truckin'"? I suppose it is nice to stop and smell the roses, believe me we all need to do that once in a while. However, as I grow older and observe many people "plugging" away and many people not, I have begun to wonder why. We were all placed on this earth by God to in fact "work", to be productive, to live, which are parts of our humanely mission. Once we grow closer to God is when our faith grows and we begin to learn that there is much more to life than what I referred to as its "humanly mission". I am sure in Father Andrew's 40 years in the priesthood he has preached on the topic of "Faith and Works" hundreds of times. More recently he happened to be preaching on this topic and it caught my ear.
As I heard him speak, the thought of works alongside faith really began to hit me. I began to think and reflect more on the missionary work I was a part of in Mexico this past June. Then I reflected on the work within the church that we all do. Not to mention how I was involved with these works. If you are able to sit back and observe a Sunday at St. Luke's or any other day during the week (hint: check the bulletin) you will see lots of "work" going on. There are several moving parts. On another note to be productive in society (outside the church walls) and at our own homes, we have to work. Whether it be in our everyday jobs, school work, social relationships, community relations, we have to keep them going by "lending a hand". This may all seem like a very simple concept, but without everyone working, how would anything get accomplished? More importantly how would St. Luke's survive if everyone was not working? Or how would you or your family get fed, if you could not produce for them? There are many questions like these last two we can all ask ourselves. However, it is important to note that indeed if we do not have faith then the works are dead, and if we work without faith how is it ever going to be fruitful?
Going on the mission to Mexico was initially just that, a mission to build a home in Mexico. It was to be able to give to someone that had little or nothing, something that I have (shelter) and may take for granted at times. I had faith that a home would be built with the hands of me and 9 other St. Lukiens. I had support from all of you brothers and sisters at St. Luke's, my family, and my friends that had faith too that this home would be built. I also realized that there may be some struggle along the way, but prayed that the Lord would watch over us and get us there and back safely. To be honest in the beginning my work was never completely clear, but as you pray and your faith begins to work through your body, it is amazing what you can get accomplished. Mind you all, there was a lot of my body working on this trip! It was exhausting and trying at times and prayer and faith in the Lord helped me immensely along the way. It was an experience to have learned how to build that home for Moises and Maria Guadalupe. It was my mission to give them shelter. It was amazing to have done that and then to come back and months later still be thinking about it, and how it has changed my vision.
On this trip there was not a lot of communication with the Natives, that we built homes for. But when one woman said to me "Todos Ustedes son muy hermoso pueblo" , my eyes began to tear, and I will never forget the beautiful smile she had on her face when she spoke those words. Me covered in dirt from head to toe, wearing the same dirty clothes for days, with stucco all over my hands. She walked away and I never saw her again....but that it in itself was enough for me to know that with all of our work, and faith and prayer, we were able to go do the Lord's work and she saw it.
We are all beautiful people, as we are made in the image and likeness of God. With that I will keep on truckin' and hope that you will all do the same.