Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 16 - Christmas Eve

second visit to Amor del Nino orphanage (

drying bibs at Amor del Nino

We wish you all a very Merry and Holy Christmas from a place that has helped us to understand the mystery of His incarnation and the poverty God placed himself in.

Christ was born in a manger among animals and dung, on a cold winter night - without running water or light. We have seen the local Mayan people live just like this, in corrugated metal shacks, with chickens and pigs roaming, dirt floors, no water or food, heat or electricity. Never before had we experienced Christmas so closely.

Christ loved children, welcomed their presence and told us we need to become simple and pure like them if we want to be saved. There are scores of children in the Mayan villages we have visited. They are dirty, but also curious and have the nicest and purest smiles we have ever seen. These simple people welcome children, because they represent hope for a better future, help in the fields and support in their old age. Life is prized in the hearts of the poor.

Christ was rejected by the wise, wealthy and educated people of his time. It is not much different for the Mayan people, that are refused care and mistreated at the local hospitals.

Even our American/western wealthy society is now distancing itself from the meaning of the mystery of Christmas and God's design to reign among the poor and rejected. Merry Christmas has assumed a whole new meaning, and.... Happy Holidays tastes like vinegar, because, in our secular world, this time of year is no longer about Christ and  his humble origins. If Christ had not come, there would be no hope amidst these brutal conditions. Our Faith is bonified and a small layer of the mystery of God has been peeled away this trip. Our prayer is that more of humanity will discover that God wants us to love one another as HE HAS LOVED US.

Some of us will be distributing blankets at one of the villages todays, while Norine will be here at home preparing the Christmas dinner. It's an interesting and somewhat uncomfortable dicothomy.
They tell us there will be hundreds of fireworks here tonight - like being in a war zone... Norine and I are not so sure how we feels about all of this. How do we bridge such vast inequities about how securely and happily we live when all of God's suffering children surround us? More layers of the the mysterious "onion of faith" needs to be peeled away. To be continued in the years to come...

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