We had to drive there from Lodja (small city in the middle of the DRC we flew into) which is 145km south of Mukumary.
|Lodja is on the bottom right, Mukumary is the top of the map|
|Some of the people gathered to walk me to the Church.|
|They even had palms!|
What does 'google' say a parade is?
Here in the states we have parades sometimes; however, I think there are only a few really great, epic, talk about for the ages parades. I'm not intentionally excluding anyone, but I think of Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, Superbowl parades for the Winning Team, and (although we used to be better at these) parades for Soldiers when they return from War and Service overseas. These are epic, talk about for decades to come, known to people who weren't even there, parades!
This is the kind of parade, a public procession celebrating a special day - that was the experience Christ had when walking into Jerusalem on the Sunday before his death. It was an epic parade - one we still remember each year in the Liturgy. We even are sure that each person in the Church (old and young alike) has a palm to wave in procession. At some Masses people even gather outside all together to process around the grounds waving their palms. In Rome, the Holy Father processed around St. Peter's Square in His vestments (the same ones Blessed John Paul II wore on Palm Sunday each year) with a palm branch remembering the person of Christ.
A procession to be remembered for the ages!
I had this experience as I entered the village of Mukumary, the village of Mpete, and the village of Mpama. A parade to be remembered for the ages in my mind and the mind of the villagers of these places. It was an epic day. I brought only me, my smile, and my love. And it was more than enough for them. It was more than they were seeking. They were honored because I was there - not because of what I could do for them or what I was going to do or how I was going to do it. They had nothing to gain and most of them didn't even know my name! When I got to the church they had be stand on a table so that everyone could see me.
What if there was a parade in our city each time a visitor came? What difference could that make in our hearts? How would it change our perspective?