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Tuesday, 23 December 2014 17:08

What should you treasure this Christmas?

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redglassA little boy pulled from his pocket a treasure he had found in the garbage, a small dirty piece of red plastic. He said, “this is for you, if you look through this, everything is beautiful!” Sister Marj Crossman rsj recalls her first Christmas in Peru and the story about this most precious Christmas gift.

Christmas in Peru is a wondrous event, filled with prayer, song, dance, fireworks and shared food.

I remember vividly my first Christmas there. It was very hot and dusty and we met on Christmas Eve in the Chapel in Los Libertadores for Mass. The church was packed with squirming, excited kids all wanting to get near the elaborate crib, to wonder at what they saw and to welcome the baby Jesus, poor like them. One little boy said to me, “I'm asking baby Jesus to send us some water so that we won't be thirsty and dirty.”

The singing, both on and off key was truly from the heart, the joy contagious. After Mass the women had prepared a cup of warm chocolate and a piece of panettone for everyone.

As I was walking home with some of the children a little boy pulled from his pocket a treasure he had found in the garbage, a small dirty piece of red plastic. He looked me in the eye and said to me: “this is for you... if you look through this, everything is beautiful!”

No more precious gift have I ever received. This is what Christmas is about. A little boy, with nothing, gave to me his most precious treasure. A sharing that is all embracing.

At midnight, noisy and colourful fireworks are enjoyed in the streets. A meal is shared and the Christ Child is welcomed with music and dance.

This article was first published on 17 December 2014 on the website of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.