For child was been born to us, a son given to us… Is 9:6
In one of his Christmas writings Father Theodore inspired us to contemplate the divine Child of Bethlehem.
He said, “This Child is the Son of the Most High, He is the love incarnate! Why does He appear to under the traits of childhood? It is so that we may love Him and not fear Him! A child gives everything, forgives everything, forgets everything; nothing, is more approachable and nothing is more lovable. He smiles at us from His mother’s breast; He asks for our trust; He tenderly invites us to enjoy His holy intimacy. How could His sweetness, His simplicity, His delightful caresses, His divine attentions fail to captive our heart?”… (Book 3, p.171).
These words of Father Theodore give us an example of how we can live the spirit of this Christmas season. If this child captivates our hearts, if He becomes the love incarnated in us then we will be able to carry His presence to the world. A world who is crying because of the lack of peace, forgiveness, love, listening and solidarity. It is through His infinite grace that we human beings can be and give the best of ourselves, forgetting our resentment with one and other; and instead of creating divisions, we can build bridges that lead us to a society where everybody feels accepted, loved and respected.
Let us act and pray to make possible the presence of this Child among us. Each one receives different gifts from this Child and puts them in service of the other- this is how the Child can become flesh and dwell among us.
NDS Christmas celebration in Jerusalem
This year our Christmas was full of joy and diversity. Volunteers from USA, Australia, Romania, Poland, Argentina and Brazil; NDS brothers; the apostolic and contemplative Sisters and some Sion friends’ had the opportunity to celebrate mass in Shepherd’s Field in Bethlehem. Father Carlos NDS presided at the Eucharist. Celebrating Eucharist in one of the grotto caves made it more special and meaningful for us.
After mass, we returned to Ein Karem singing Christmas carols in different languages. This was followed by a celebratory gathering in the Novitiate. We started by singing Silent Night and putting the infant Jesus in the crib. Some drinks, food, singing and dancing came afterwards. We had the pleasure of enjoying songs and dances from Brazil, Argentina, Romania and others countries.
On Christmas Day we celebrated Eucharist in the morning, and this was followed by a delicious lunch in the guest house. During the lunch, we sang Christmas carols in different languages. This gathering was a time to talk and know one another and our culture more -sharing the light, hope and happiness that Christ brings to us. We thank God for all those involved in the preparation of the liturgy, hospitality and food for this special time together as a Sion family.
Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and coming New Year as one full of love, peace and hope.
Nancy Mena Fernandez NDS, Novice
Congregational Novitiate Ein Karem, Jerusalem