Advent is a time for recollection, a time of waiting.  It is a time that wakes us from slumber and surprises us with the incarnation of a God who makes himself “small” to come and dwell among us. The mystery of Christmas brings us back to the essential, and welcoming Baby Jesus into our lives becomes an opportunity for each one of us to convert ourselves again and look at our daily lives with gratitude.

A charity that is always new
Ever since the conflict broke out in Ukraine, we have been involved in collecting food and clothing and welcoming refugees. A chain of prayers for peace also began in our parish. We took in a Ukrainian mother with two children. Since the Ukrainian language has Slavic roots, there were no problems there, even if English is practically our common language… but how were we going to organise life for these people who were so completely disoriented? There are already five of us in the family, so we asked relatives and friends if they would help with our guests. It was about organising places for them, something we had never done before. After the first few days which were easy in some ways because of the novelty of the situation but difficult in other ways, we noticed how our children, all teenagers, adopted a sense of responsibility that they had not demonstrated before.  They began helping with the household chores, shopping, accompanying someone to the doctor, teaching a few Slovakian words, cooking, ironing. The pain our guests were feeling was the sense of suspension, the lack of horizon.  We found that embracing this silent pain was not only a good way to help someone else, it also helped us to live our faith better and transform it into a charity which is ever new.
(J. and K. – Slovakia)

God is paying you a visit
As a widower, I no longer had a reference point for the future.  My two daughters, who had already moved out of home, had their whole lives ahead of them. Should I remarry? My problem was not just that I didn’t have a partner, but the bigger question on the meaning of life. I started drinking, more and more. One day a Bangladeshi boy appeared at my door selling socks. Seeing me in such a sorry state he offered to clear up the kitchen and started washing up the piles of dishes and crockery until there was some semblance of order. As I was drinking the coffee he had made for me, I asked him about himself. He told me he was looking for work in Austria in order to be able to support his elderly parents and a sick brother. In short, he moved in with me a few days later. Besides helping me with the housework, I found him other little jobs with friends. Whenever he saw me getting restless, this good and simple boy would try to distract me. I can honestly say that he saved me. Through him, I really felt that God had come towards me, had come to visit me.
(F.H. – Austria)

Edited by Maria Grazia Berretta

(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VIII, no.2, November-December 2022)

No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *