Here in Lebanon it is customary to remove the Nativity scene on the feast of Epiphany. We invited our children to join us for this conclusion to the Christmas season. It was a beautiful evening: we spoke honestly, of solidarity. . . There was such a beautiful atmosphere that we read the Gospel of the day rediscovering nuances in it that we had never noticed before. Since some of the small children were with us, we also spoke of the meaning of the feast. Then each of us shared an intention for the New Year, a wish. We made a proposal that we would find more moments during the year to recreate this family intimacy. You’d think this was a given in a family, but for us it was a discovery of that evening which concluded with some sweet songs of glory and thanksgiving to God. (M.M. – Lebanon)
Elina the Caregiver
My mother had an accident which caused her to go from being quite independent in spite of her advancing age, to being in need of constant assistance that my sister and were unable to provide for her. This is why we hired Elina, a young woman from Eastern Europe. My mother was finding it difficult to accept her. I took advantage of little things in an attempt to help them to find a positive relationship: translating Elina’s Slavic language, explaining the needs and expectations of one or the other, highlighting the positive in each of them.
A relationship began to be born when I discovered that Elina’s residence permit was about to expire. It had to be worked out legally with my mother. For four months I knocked on doors of the most diverse institutions, until things were finally settled. My mother gradually found a friend in Elina, almost a daughter. In turn Elina had found a family and later brought her son to live in Italy. Now she’s happy. (A. P. – Italy)
My son hadn’t taken part in physical education classes because he didn’t have gym shoes. We simply didn’t have the money to buy them and in spite of all my good intentions, I just couldn’t manage to put aside the money for even the most economical pair. One day I recalled the words of the Gospel: “ask and it will be given to you.” So I asked God to help me save up enough money to buy the shoes for my son. I was deeply moved when on that very same day my son came home from school with a pair of gym shoes, plus a spare pair. They had bought them for him with monies from the distance support programme we belong to. How could I not see in this a concrete answer of God’s love, exactly at the moment when was most in need of making my son feel happy?
(E.B. – Bolivia)
Source: Il Vangelo del giorno, January 2014, Città Nuova Editrice.