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Maya Monthly March 2016

Mar 26, 2016

Are you counting…  1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Dear Friends of the Maya,


2016-Mar-bI started counting…1,2,3,4,5….and then I moved the toothbrush and counted all over: 1,2,3,4,5….


“Where did all of this come from?” Why am I counting when I brush my teeth? I never did that before!”


Then I remembered. It’s those kids! I had just visited one of our “after school” programs in Sierra Papacal. The kids there are always smiling. They had greeted me with shouts and “high fives”. Then, all of a sudden, they ran outside and started brushing their teeth. They counted from 1-5 and then moved the tooth brush.


Our leader there is Monica Alvarez Munoz. She has a degree in psychology and education – but that’s not where she learned about teaching the kids to count when they brush. Monica’s mom is a dentist. Monica has bright teeth and now all of our kids have bright teeth too. And If I keep counting and don’t drink so much coffee, I just might have bright teeth someday as well.


It is Holy Week as I write this March Maya Monthly. It will be Easter or after when you receive this. I would like to say that teaching kids to brush their teeth has a lot to do with Holy Week and Easter.


Let me try to explain. 


In Jesus, God has shown us a preference for the poor. It was just a few months ago we celebrated Christmas and Jesus’ birth in a stable. Then off to Africa as a refugee. Then back to Nazareth where his Mom and Dad were just simple, ordinary people. We have a tendency to refer to Jesus as a king. He never accepted that title. In fact, he criticized the political and even religious leaders of his time and called many of them hypocrites. He hung around with fishermen, not churchy folks.  He embraced the lepers and ate with a prostitute. Those actions were absolutely forbidden. In the end those leaders decided it would be best to get rid of him, so they had him crucified. I don’t even want to think about how horrible that kind of death was. Jesus pardoned those responsible.


2016-Mar-aHere is where teaching kids to brush their teeth comes in. We, who want to follow Jesus and not be just spectators or admirers, we have to do something. It might be just teaching kids how to brush their teeth. It might be speaking up against terrorism, or racism or sexism. It might be heading off to Mexico and trying to do what I can to help the poor. It might be helping me do that.


I will be singing Alleluia a lot these days. I will be throwing lots of water – all over the place. Those are rituals to remember the Resurrection and our Baptism. But they will mean nothing if we don’t do something to help those who are forgotten, those who are weak, those who are rejected, those who need to learn how to brush their teeth and smile!


Happy Easter. Alleluia. Felices Pascuas. 


   2016-Mar-d   2016-Mar-c   2016-Mar-e


Paz y amor,



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