Friday, January 4, 2008

"Behold the Lamb of God" at Al Qa'im

Upon the Cross, where the Son gives everything for us, we behold Him as John invites us, the "Lamb" of sacrifice for our sins.

We behold the Lamb, truly meeting Him in every holy Mass where He gives Himself anew. New friendships are discovered as we are brought into a unity through our ancient Faith. LCDR Beasley played guitar, Lcpl Garza, Joseph Abboud, Russ Tate, SSgt Gomes, Capt Gerdes, LCDR McGinnis, Catholic lay leader Vince Heningberg, "Ricky".

As Lcpl Garza says, "Jesus has my back." The crucified One goes on every convoy, His image affixed to this Marine's flack vest.

One evening while chatting with Vince I saw the chapel door open very slightly and then close quickly. I stepped outside and invited "Ricky" (name withheld) to come in. He is Iraqi, Muslim and from Baghdad. He expressed an interest in learning about our Faith and so I invited him to pray with us the following evening at Mass.

While pacing slowly in the sunshine to pray the breviary, the next day, I stopped Joseph Abboud to chat and learned he is from Lebanon and a Maronite Christian. I invited him to join us for Mass also. While visiting elsewhere on the base and chatting with Sailors, Russ heard my voice and recognized me from Mayport, Florida, where he met me while serving as a lay leader aboard ship before 2006. He joined us as well. The Church is a gathering always of friends both old and new.

"Ricky" joined us for the liturgy and remained after for catechesis. As I handed on in English the message of the kerygma, or proclamation of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection, Joseph translated into Arabic for "Ricky" who listened with sincerity, patience and interest. We shared with "Ricky" that he must exercise his free will and choose for himself to walk through the door of Faith and thus enter the communio of Jesus in His Church. We assured him of our commitment in prayer and active help to accompany and support him on his path. Joseph will continue to provide instruction.

The "traditio", or handing on of the Faith, is taking place before our very eyes, and in our own voices, as each of us accept our vocation to be witnesses of the Lord in word and action.
Posted by MCITL at 9:47 AM

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