Thought for the Week

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews -

I re­cently set out on a long jour­ney to Peru with an old friend.

My main rea­son for be­ing there was to hon­our three friends, who had been killed by Sen­dero Lu­mi­noso (Shin­ing Path) in 1991.

I was taken to the out­skirts of Lima to visit a new Chris­tian com­mu­nity, com­posed of lit­tle shanty dwellings stuck to the side of the hill. It was a lovely sunny day (25C) and I stood in ad­mi­ra­tion when I was in­vited into one of their homes.

My col­league, who has spent nearly 50 years in Peru, was happy to be liv­ing with them, know­ing that they will soon or­gan­ise them­selves into a com­mu­nity which will be ben­e­fi­cial to them all. They are al­ready set­ting up a com­mu­nity kitchen in which to pre­pare food for 20 or 30 fam­i­lies. Other ameni­ties will fol­low; such as run­ning wa­ter, elec­tric­ity, schools, and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties.

Christ­mas is a spe­cial time for them, when they re­mem­ber that Je­sus the son of God was born in a stable and that he knows and un­der­stands how they feel. When you read the Christ­mas story in a set­ting like this it has a spe­cial res­o­nance.

Af­ter three days in Chim­bote, my next port of call was the Parish I lived in for 10 years. I was in­vited to work in the moun­tains vis­it­ing the vil­lages and shar­ing the lives of the peo­ple as they strug­gled in what was a sub­sis­tence econ­omy. It was such a joy to be with them. They feel God has blessed them and prepa­ra­tions are well un­der­way for the cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas when they will come to­gether from near and far with their many var­ied tra­di­tions, they will sing and dance in the sunny sum­mer days which they are now ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

Happy Christ­mas to ev­ery­body, and may 2016 be a year of many bless­ing for you all. Fa­ther Pat Hen­nessy, St Colum­bkille’s

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