The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

i have undergone great humiliation before, but this takes the cake: after Mass this morning a woman came up and asked if we could give her a ride back to banica so she could take her sick son to the hospital. i grabbed the backpack and told her to get on the other motorcycle with yohanser since it's a bigger bike. so she gets on and someone handed her her son. i told them to head off. unfortunately, one of the back pegs on her bike had fallen off, so it was difficult for her to keep her feet planted. i noticed this because she was wearing sandals and kept reaching down to fix them. i realized that the sandals kept slipping off, so i rode up behind them and asked if she wanted to borrow my shoes. she smiled gratefully and said yes, so i sped ahead and stopped. i had resigned myself to wearing women's sandals for the remainder of the trip as an act of charity. i was wearing my old black vans slip-ons and when they stopped next to me i slid them off and held them out for her. she took one look at it and said "no thanks. these are fine" i said, "no, go ahead." she looked at them again and said "no, really, it's okay, i don't want them..." as they rode off, i shook the dust from the vans and realized that i have the most pathetic pair of shoes in the country - i may never take them off again...


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