Salvador and our group sauntered into St Bonaventure Church and listened to the creaking of the boards of the oak floor and people reciting their rosaries as we moved to pews near the tabernacle.
Salvador grumbled as he heard Anna Lynn talking to her boyfriend George, “Don’t tell me about the hypocrites at Mass or at Protestant liturgy. I know they are there. They are the people fighting us.”
A couple arrived early for Mass. The woman white, the man African-American. Another person present in the sanctuary was a burly white man wearing a flannel shirt, blue jeans, and cowboy boots who looked at them.
Resenting the look they had become accustomed to, they went over to correct him. They started, ‘Howdy. We were just noticing the look you were giving us.” The man responded, ‘I am sorry, I’m really not all that religious. I really didn’t see you either. You see, my car just broke down, again, and I am in here crying and asking God why, he is doing this to me, again.”
The woman asked, “What is the car doing, or not doing?”
The man retorted in disgust, “It dies at intersections and does not start again.”
The woman pointed out, “I’m a mechanic. Let me go look.”
The three went, first to her car, where she grabbed tools, and returned to his car. We followed Salvador as he watched the unfolding events.
The woman changed the negative battery terminal and poured some Pepsi on the positive terminal. The man in the cowboy boots tried starting the car. It started like new.
The woman informed him, “Bad terminal with some corrosion,” and entered the church.
Salvador related, “So it is to be with you. Be willing to confront, but confront with love. Things are not always, as they seem. If the man were a racist you would take this case to the priest, to the Bishop and, if necessary, to the Pope.”
Salvador commanded, “Be prepared when people confront you. Community is for growth and growth sometimes comes with pain. Sometimes, the shoe falls on the other foot. We are sometimes the people at fault. Be ready.”