They— like the Lord—are not of this world

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The WORD in Other Words by Fr Flor Lagura SVD (USA)

Tuesday Lent Week 5 
Numbers 29,4-9
John 8,21-30

Even though many years have passed since Jesus said, “You are of this world, I am not of this world” his words rang very true in Mexico in the 1920s. The land blessed with the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe later suffered immensely under the socialist President Plutarco Calles who declared Christ’s words and the

Church as enemies to his proposed godless society. He imprisoned, exiled or even killed the religious, members of the Knights of Columbus and priests including the Jesuit Fr. Miguel Pro.

In their righteous anger the good people of Mexico rose in rebellion called “Cristada,” (Christian crusade); their loyal followers, cristeros or soldiers of Christ. By the grace of God they prevailed, but at such a horrific cost.

Some fifty years after the revolution, Fr. Max Abalos went as a missionary to Mexico’s Oaxaca-Chiapas and Guadalajara provinces: beautiful lands with good and lovely people. Yet, he sadly noted the lingering ill-effects of Plutarco Calles’godless ideology. Drug cartels plagued the lives of people. Sacrilegious practicesunder the guise of religion, notably “Santa Muerte” (Saint Death!) poisonthe minds and lives of the good and innocent people. Under these infuriating circumstances Fr. Max tried his best to free the land from the grave denial ofGod’s presence while proclaiming a society totally of this world.

Recalled to the Philippines after years of missionary life, Fr. Max continues to pray for the kind people of Mexico that one day, they as a nation will truly accept the truth that while they, as followers of Christ, are in this world, they— like the Lord—are not of this world.

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