Saludos Mi Familia de San Vicente de Pablo,
“Te invito a tacos!” my new friend Fe called out to a room stuffed with people. Everyone began calling out their orders, pollo camarones, carne asada! Dos por favor! We strolled two blocks to Taqueria El Paisa and ordered all 16 tacos. As we approached the register, I pulled out my phone, “What’s your Vemo?” I yelled over the banda music. It seemed like a perfectly normal — nay I say polite — question. She shook her head, “Te invité, I invited you to tacos.”
Oh, it must be because I’m new, how nice. I thought to myself. But she explained, “Te invito is to invite, but it’s more. It’s an invitation with no expectation. I’m inviting you, but I’m not expecting you to reciprocate. That’s not the point. The point is to invitar, to share what you have, not that you’ll pick it up the next time.”
Since then, that phrase has been a constant. I have been invited by guests (those in the house, who are brand new to the US and saving to be self-sufficient), and I’ve done the inviting. And each time, it’s brought new food and connections. So yea, it’s inviting people to eat, but it’s more than that. It’s about spending time together. It’s showing people you love them by recognizing their presence (and remembering their favorite ice cream flavor).
And it’s made me think about how Jesus spent his time — inviting others to eat with him. And it brings up some meaningful questions: Who am I inviting? Who am I called to invite? Who’s missing? Am I giving as freely and as profoundly as I can?
Keep us in your prayers! Paz de Cristo,
Tinamarie Stolz is a Campus Minister at St. Joseph’s University and a parishioner at St. Vincent De Paul in Germantown. She is spending the summer at the Oakland Catholic Worker in Oakland, California. Check back for more updates.