Follow the Star that leads to the Child Jesus and become pilgrims. The example of the Wise Men helps us understand that this time gives us a precious opportunity to set out again together and witness to our neighbours every day the wonder that dwells in that grotto and comes to make all things new.
Change is positive
As I look back over all we lived in the last year during this time of unexpected pandemic, I have the impression that I am watching an action film that has shaken us all up a bit, parents and children alike. It has often been tiring and hard to be forced to change plans and pace of life but it is also true that this situation has brought a breath of fresh air into our family. We have become aware of new ways of relating to one another and of needs that we had not previously considered. If faith had been a taboo with our children, here we are now faced with our own frailties, with fears of global dimensions and with questions that had previously gone unanswered. The real change, however, began when we asked ourselves the meaning of what was happening. Accustomed to having answers to every question, this time we were puzzled by the unknown. In short, we found ourselves more supportive not only of each other in the family but also of others. We found ourselves considering humanity as one family.
(R.F. – France)
Love circulates among the inmates
I do voluntary work at the prison in my city. Together with a small group of other people, I take care of the “Città Nuova Reading Project”, in which many prisoners take part every week. One of them seemed sad that he could not receive the Eucharist because he had no catechetical preparation, so I suggested that I could help him. He was happy and thanked me and, together with the chaplain, we draw up a programme for the lessons. Spontaneously, a few other inmates joined in during our preparation sessions. Within a few months we were ready and so we arranged a date when the prisoner was to receive the sacrament for the first time. To my surprise, on that day, the church was full: the inmates from that sector who rarely attend religious services, all came to Mass dressed in their best clothes. And not only that: drawing on long forgotten childhood memories, they took care of the songs, the readings and the prayers of the faithful. Like the rest of us, they were excited and enjoyed the family atmosphere that had been created, where no one felt alone.
(Antonietta – Italy)
He lives alone in a dirty hovel, half-paralysed and reduced to skin and bones. He must be just over 60 years of age but he looks a lot older. The first time I went to bring him some food and clothing, I suggested that we pray together. He could no longer remember the Our Father, he only knew the Hail Mary. When I left, I asked him for a blessing, even though I was younger than him, a foreigner and, in his eyes, a rich foreigner. He raised his paralysed hand and marked the cross on my head. He, that poor man, looked at me with eyes full of joy, surprise and tears. Ours has now become a weekly appointment. Each time we say together whatever prayers come to his mind. He recites them out loud. The only way I can get close to him is to kneel down next to his bed: when I do that I think: “Here I am, Lord, kneeling before you.”
(L.B. – Thailand)
Edited by Maria Grazia Berretta
(taken from “Il Vangelo del Giorno”, Città Nuova, year VIII, no.1, Jan-Feb 2022)