Arriving to Lubbock, Texas was a bit of a sanctifying experience. Wednesday, June 18th was wacky Wednesday with the delayed flights, changing airlines, transferring bags. There is always a trust component that needs to be present when doing the work of God, and as a human…um lets just that say that becomes more of a challenge. Regardless, there was a mission that needed to be accomplished, so focus needed to be crystal clear.
I arrive to Lubbock about two hours outside of the scheduled time and was greeted by three amazing people, who made me feel at home in Texas. Now you know the old adage “when in Rome…” Well I took that upon myself and did as Texas did…I found the nearest Chinese Buffet. You would think, Mexican food, or brisket, NAH not today,I was feeling unconventional. I needed comfort food and Big Star Chinese Buffet was just that; food, fun, and fellowship was enough to settle the nerves of traveling. Traveling is not always easy knowing that the three loves of my life are at home missing their Catholic Channing Tatum (that’s me in case you are all wondering).
I arrived at Our Lady of Guadalupe and man was I amazed at how beautiful and welcoming the Church was. Their zeal for evangelizing through the simple act of loving your neighbor spoke volumes. It was clear this parish was familia, and their pastor was a true leader in his community. The vibrant, Eucharistic centered community made the soil for the youth very fertile. They were all engaged, on fire, enthusiastic, and passionately in love with Jesus. These 300 plus teens from Our Lady of Guadalupe (and neighboring parishes) were surprised to know that the topic of last night’s Youth Night was Zombies and Our Culture. It was a killer night! (Pun intended)
My Memorable Highlights (other than the Buffet) :
1.) I asked the question “who thinks their beautiful?” and one girl throws her hands up confidently and say “ME!” She was genuine and her response and said to myself…SELF, only if the world responded as this teen girl did, self esteem issues, depression, and suicide would drop dramatically.
2.) This one teen boy came up to me and said “I respect you man” (disclaimer this isn’t about me but more about him). He seems rocked, like something hit him. He came by himself, bringing along with him his lil cousin. “Man, I was tired [from work] and I did not know if I should come…my little cousin didn’t want to come, but we are glad we did…I respect you!” I left saying to myself… “SELF!!!” This teen in the midst of his daily busy life took the time to come to an optional event not for him but for his little cousin. His sacrifice became a fruitful act, because his cousin enjoyed, and this teen left inspired. Not because anything I said, but because the Lord opened his heart to receive whatever came down the pipe. I respect him
3.) The cutest moment of the night goes to two little girls ages 6 or so. They skipped over to me with a cell phone at hand. One stood on one side, the other on the other side. They posed and looked at me like “yo get on our LEVEL” not one word said. The assumed the selfie position and without missing a beat I joined and they snapped. They skipped away discussing who gets to see the picture first. This simple confident act of “Yo-get-on-my-level-selfie” was enough for me to see what Jesus meant about having faith like a child. This made me want to skip to the Jesus and take a selfie
Regardless of how stressful it was getting to Lubbock, the trouble was worth it. It was crystal clear that Lubbock, Texas and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church are embracing the New Evangelization and are not afraid to invest in their parishioners through the priceless act of loving your neighbor. I have left learning more from them, than them from me.
Next stop…Steubenville Florida.
Oscar "Two Ten" Rivera is all about bringing the fire. Passionate, comedic, and driven to deliver the truth, the right way.