Today in Venezuela

 
The situation of the South American country becomes more complex each day. As the bishops encourage “every effort in favor of peace and co-existence based on the law of brotherly love,” some are already becoming involved in providing concrete service to people in need.

IVenezuela 5 heard on TV…
I’m watching the news, continually being interrupted by appeals from the public utility commission. The last one just said: “Urgently needed pharmacy drug…” My God! I jot down the telephone number and call. They tell me that person in need is an elderly woman, that it’s really urgent and that she lives in the same city as me. I quickly contact the lady’s children, but in this moment the situation on the streets doesn’t allow me to go out. We agree to meet the next day, early in the morning, in fron of the community health centre. When we finally meet, the lady asks me: “How much does the medicine cost?” I asked for it from the United States, but they weren’t able to send it to me.” “Nothing, ma’am,” I answer. “Let’s pray together that peace quickly returns to Venezuela.” We don’t know each other but hug and say goodbye.

There is more happiness in giving than in receiving
My friend calls me: “Do you by any chance have this medicine? I can’t find it anywhere . . .” It happened to be just the medicine that a woman had donated to my parish. In that moment I had thought: “But will this be useful to anyone?” It’s a very specific medicine…” It was jus the one my friend needed, with the exact dosage information – and there were 50 pills! God knows what each person needs. The happiness was shared, but mine was greater.

Venezuela 2Create bridges with people from other Churches
I received an SMS: “I would need this medicine, do you have it by chance?” Yes, I had it and asked Armando to take it over to him, since the one asking was an Evangelical like him. I also thought of asking: “If by any chance you any medicine that we’re looking for, would you return the favor?” She sent me the exact medicine that is hard to find in pharmacies, equipped with a nebulizer. She gave mine to another person who wasn’t able to expectorate because of a strong cough. I was an experience of the Gospel sentence: “Give and it will be given to you.” Moreover, the medicine I received was of a superior quality and with fewer side effects than the one I had before. It’s amazing: when you give, love is transformed into brotherhood.

Sunday, day of rest…
It’s Sunday!!! Finally I can get some rest! I planned on a very interesting film when, all of a sudden, the doorbell rings. I begin to fear that rest in relaxation is in danger. Seeing my reaction, my son asked if I would like him to tell the person at the door to come back at a nother moment. I almost say yes . . . but no . . . I’ll open it. I see an acquaintance standing there who asks me if I’m busy. She had an urgent look on her face. I let her in. “I just ahvef to talk with you…” “Okay, come in. My husband’s here too. Is it okay if he joins us?” We sit there for three hours listening to her. She tell us she wants a divorce, but before telling it to her husband and filing the papers, she thought of talking to us. It’s not easy to listen to her venting filled with pain, misunderstanding and anger…At the end, many of her doubts are clarified. We conclude with a prayer and the decision to start being the first to love. Thus she returns home with renewed strength and ready for the fight to save her marriage. It was a Sunday spent as the Day of the Lord, in which we think we did what Jesus would have done – loved without judging.

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