Call me man of little faith but I didn’t expect God would grant my prayer for a good weather and fun-filled day. I thought otherwise, take it from a minimalist. As it turned out, St. James had all the luck. We were blessed with the capital “B”, a much better term. There was a slight drop of rain early morning and just when I was hurriedly pulling my car near the chapel for the 8am Mass, I felt anxious about the outcome should Nature bring another set of rain as the day went by. Then, there was this line in last Sunday’ Gospel that hit me, don’t worry, everything will be fine. Let it be!
When I came out of the Church after the 10:00 Spanish Mass to bless the grounds, it was chilly, something I normally would not imagine late February in town. Beatles’ Let it be slipped away, this time, God’s word ruled: “I’ve heard your prayer Catholics in Coolidge, you planned well and obviously, looked forward to it. I won’t fail you. Just don’t forget to come to Mass and receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, remember the cross imposed on your forehead is a mark that you belong to me, whether you are faithful or not, go with the former though because clarity of conscience brings you happiness, here and after- life. Let there be sunshine then in St. James and the neighborhood so that they (my people) would enjoy a day of a lot of fun, food, music, entertainment, meet and greet, and over-spending, for the good of the cause.” Just before the 12pm Mass, I was starving and needed something sizzling and spicy to keep me going for another hour at least, so much for Eucharistic fast and coronation galore. I was told red hot Menudo was ready. Bring it on, please and the rest is history.
The Parish Fiesta was a real indication that we have lots of potentials and that we are capable of doing anything and everything in the name of God and the Church, if only we pool our resources together. The road to the success of the Festival is met and paved with a tremendous amount of Faith in God, a high dose of confidence and determination, clear vision, great passion, cooperation and willingness to let our skills be utilized by the community. When I went around doing rounds, sort of just checking and tasting 101, I was amazed at the level of participation and the division of labor, and the happiness that radiated in each individual, so to speak. The booths were packed with kids at the children’s place and people busy cooking, selling, talking (is a must) and ordering in queue. During the auction, I was asked to place a bid and won, only to know it was lady’s stuff.
As for me playing the guitar and singing, bear with me, that’s my frustration, something tied deeply in my past. I’ve always wanted music and yet it didn’t like me, strange and odd but true. I volunteered because I thought it was cool and while on stage, I didn’t realize it was cold until my hands started to freeze and surrounded by a good number of guests, although mostly were on my side, I shrank. It should have been done it earlier when the sun was out and the sky clear and did I hear my people say, more! more! Are you sure? …more practice, maybe. Got you, lol. Towards the end, I wanted to dance and just dance (nothing crazy and fancy), join the crowd and get the hang of Mexican music but who’s to blame, was caught up in my typical shyness, I can’t argue against.
In the days leading up to the event, my involvement was very minimal in actual fact, except show up in meetings a couple of times, give permission to some requests, advertize in the bulletin and the blogosphere, and more importantly, pray and smile. I put the community in God’s hands and can’t be grateful enough about the turn of events, that is, everything falling into place.
By eight in the evening and as the night wore on, it seemed it was game over. Some began to make graceful exits, others looked exhausted but for the young people in the dance floor, it has just begun. If I were invited, I’d probably give it (salsa) a shot.
Everyone deserves recognition for the hard work and sacrifices made (cash and in kind), in ways personally unknown to me. However, let me mention Steve Hudson and Shaun Youtsey for coordinating the entire festival for 5 years now and perhaps, counting. Over and above, I’d like to thank God Almighty for making things possible, in whom we place our trust under his providential care. Amen.