How I wish that the Biblical Christmas story would come to the same happy conclusion as school Nativity plays, leaving me with a warm, fuzzy feeling! In contrast, however, the Biblical Christmas story continues with some scenes that leave me feeling sad and disturbed. I watch distraught parents with their small child, fleeing their homeland because it has become wracked by violence. I realize that Mary and Joseph had not planned or prepared their escape route. However, when they learn that Herod and his militia want to kill their child, they are left with no option but to cross the border into Egypt under the cover of darkness.
Herod’s threat is not an empty one: “he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old or younger.” (Mt 2:16) Indeed, Herod is so cruel that it is thought preferable to be his pig than to be his son! Joseph, Mary and Jesus, therefore, remain as refugees in Egypt until they hear of his death. (Mt. 2:15) This Christmas I hear this same disturbing story echoed everywhere around me. Thousands of people in the Ukraine, Honduras, Syria and El Salvador, are desperately seeking a safe haven from violence in their homeland...
Our annual Subanen Christmas party and reunion was on Dec 20. About 16 past and present Subanen crafters showed up with family members – about 90 souls in all. After years of organizing this event we have come to know what things are most important and what are less important.
Greetings from Manila.
What is in a mother’s love that leaves such a precious and indelible mark on each and every one of us? The giver of life, God has imbued her with the joyful task of bringing life into this world and the sometimes sorrowful task of nurturing us to adulthood.
San Juan de Lurigancho prison, Lima, Peru, holds about 9,000 prisoners; not exactly the place where you would go to celebrate, but that was our reason for converging on the prison on Monday, December 13, 2013, exactly 30 years after Columban Sister Joan Sawyer was gunned down by the Peruvian police.