The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matt 7:3-4 NIV
Sunday was Date Day. Date Day is better than Date Night because it lasts all day and all night. Bob and I hadn’t seen each other in 3 weeks and we planned to pack Sunday with a day of worship, romance, and adventure.
Our day began worshipping at the San Felipe de Neri Church in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’d spent the night at Hotel Albuquerque Old Town and the church was just a couple of blocks away. Bob and I strolled through Old Town holding hands and quietly walked into the church packed with people.
Fray Manuel Moreno started the original church of San Felipe de Neri in 1706. Fray Manuel was a Franciscan priest who came to Albuquerque with 30 families from Bernalillo in 1704 or 1705. Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, the founder of the city of Albuquerque, originally named the church San Francisco Xavier, after the Viceroy of New Spain. The Duke of Albuquerque changed the name to San Felipe de Neri in honor of King Philip of Spain.
On a rainy day in the summer of 1792, the old church completely collapsed. A year later, Albuquerque built the church currently standing on the Old Town Plaza. This lovely church is in the shape of a cross, has the Stations of the Cross on the 5 foot thick walls, and was constructed of adobe.
It was a peaceful service filled with prayer, reading the word of God together, and singing. We sat in anticipation as the Priest began his Homily.
The Priest said a parishioner once commented that no one ever had ever heard him talking badly about other churches or religions.
The Priest answered, “We have enough to talk about in this church. When we finish fixing everything here, we’ll talk about other churches.” We all laughed.
The Priest’s response is the best example of Matthew 7:3-4 I’ve ever heard. When we finish fixing everything about ourselves, we can start fixing other people.
We left the church and ate authentic New Mexican food in Old Town. We visited shops, again holding hands. Bob bought me a lovely mother’s day gift – you may have guessed what – a dramatic necklace. Who is surprised that I wanted that. We went to the movies and saw – you can probably guess again – Date Night.
We’d hoped to take the gondola up the Sandia Mountain and eat dinner at the Hotel on top of the mountain but the ice cold rain and hail discouraged us. I wondered if it was an example of the heavy rain that had collapsed that tiny church so many years ago. Instead, we drove around the city taking in the sights and ran a couple of errands. We ate New Mexican food for dinner. What can I say? We don’t have Mexican food in State College, Pennsylvania. After dinner, we returned to our hotel. I do not plan to write about the rest of our delightful Date Day.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904 614-3585.
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