«That all may be one» (Jn. 17,21)
We were born for these words, for unity, to give a contribution to its realization in the world. Chiara Lubich
|Publications and Media|
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|New City Press|
|Indianapolis Christmas Community Gathering|
|Written by Midwest Editor|
|Monday, December 05, 2011|
The Indianapolis Focolare community marked the beginning of Advent, reflecting in songs, words, a pantomime, and personal experiences the true meaning of Christmas. The December 4th celebration began with the local Focolare coordinators, Jim and Millie Komro, welcoming 138 people, half from the local Burmese community.
The program began with a meditation from Chiara Lubich's Christmas Joy (New City Press, 1998). The children re-enacted the Nativity story, followed by a sharing of experiences, a play without words, and then Christmas carols, including three traditional Burmese songs. The meditation and the experiences were simultaneously translated into Burmese.
A Christmas pantomime used large cards with a variety of facial expressions and other symbols to “tell” the story of a Seeker, searching the world for something to bring him satisfaction. Like the shepherds and wise men, he was looking for a Star. He did not find it in sports or fame, or in shopping bargains. But he did find the Star in the love of a family who welcomed him, and cared for him.
The personal experiences included finding God’s love by discerning His will in a decision regarding an out-of-state job, a small child’s discovery of the hundredfold by giving to the needy and then the unexpected gift from a complete stranger, and the deep satsifaction of hosting one's home to over thirty employees and friends of a co-worker who had died, so that sharing and grieving together could begin the healing process for their unexpected loss.
The uplifting Burmese songs transcended the difference in languages, conveying a joy and excitement that captured everyone's heart. The celebration continued with refreshments and time to visit together. All that took place embodied what was said in Chiara's meditation: “Christmas for me is not just a commemoration, however meaningful. It is a spur for me to work to restore the presence of Christ in the midst of the society in which I live.”
Afterwards, one woman remarked, “I have finally made my decision after today to become part of the Focolare.” A mom who was there with her many children noted, “There were so many practical things at home to do but the family made the decision to be at the party. What we experienced here is what Christmas is all about.”