People gathered at MacArthur Park where the first few stations were read. Prayers were prayed. The caravan began.
At Messiah in Santa Ana, more gathered. the pilgrimage continued with more stations, more prayers. Palms were added to the truck carrying the Salvador del Mundo -- an image of Jesus which made its way up from El Salvador, along the pilgrim trail, across the Mexican border, and ended up at Trinity
Episcopal Church on Melrose. Those gathered for this event continued on to Chula Vista, St. John's Church. More people were gathered there. More stations, more prayers. The Salvador del Mundo traveled us, leading us down the freeway. People gawked, pointed, took pictures, prayed. It was quite a site -- this 6 foot statue of Jesus standing upright in the back of a pick up truck, leading a group of pilgrims to the border.
At St. John's in Chula Vista we were given simple sandwiches to eat and water to drink.More stations read, more prayers offered. We then started down the road to the border.
At the parking lot, we gathered. A large cross was carried by members of our pilgrim team, a smaller was carried as well. As we got to the beach, we stopped for more stations and prayers. We were walking our "Via Crucis" -- the way of the cross.
I remember last year walking along the beach in my chasuble and miter -- it was so hot! This year I wore only a simple alb and stole -- it was still so very warm. I thought about the people who have crossed the border, walking miles and miles -- not the 2 mile distance I had to traverse -- they with little or no water. Although my joints were killing me, I kept on. I knew this was my feeling the pain of others who have made this trek.
We stopped before we were to climb the short hill to reach the border wall -- and said the last stations, and offered more prayers. The waters of the Pacific on our right side, ahead of us a large fence that went down and into the ocean.
At the border, we celebrated the Eucharist -- on both sides at the same time. It was chaotic -- and wonderful. It was life-giving.
Celebrating the Eucharist this affirmed for me that nothing, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ.
After the service, we all joined one another at the fence. People asked us to bless them, and they blessed us. I blessed a little girl, Liliana -- and she blessed me. It made me cry.
Tears of love, tears of sorrow were shed by many. Just as people shed tears for Jesus.
This was a very powerful Via Crucis. And we intend to repeat this Way of the Cross next year. I invite you to join us!