And so here we are, at the beginning of 2024…how quickly time passes!
What do you wish for? This is the question we of the fraternity of Santiago de Chile asked ourselves. Our wishes? We’re expressing them to you with this drawing which we made together. It is the fruit of a time of prayer and reflection among the three of us.
We are a community where there are differences in nationality, culture, and age (Chile, France, Italy; 68, 59, and 36 years old)…and it is as such that we live “Nazareth” in the neighborhood of La Victoria.
In this new year the line which echoes in our hearts is this, from Nikos Kazantzakis: “I said to the almond tree: speak to me of God, and the almond tree bloomed”…
Above and beyond the difficult moments life sometimes has in store for us, we see how “the almond tree bloomed,” and how it continues to blossom and bear fruit.
The road is made of risk, change, nights, and days…We have to prepare the soil, plant, water, care for, watch over, contemplate, recalibrate, prioritize, discern, and sometimes be brave…But “the almond tree blooms.”
We see it when we are able to share deeply among ourselves, able to do something to help build up the different social service organizations in our neighborhood. We see it when we witness the solidarity of some of our neighbors, ready to help out in any difficulty, volunteering at the soup kitchen, decorating the streets for the neighborhood’s anniversary festival, or cleaning at the hospital…Finally, whenever we bring what we have, seeking to make life better for everyone…
The almond tree blooms every day, and sometimes we see it better if we take a “magnifying glass” to appreciate it in all its beauty, contemplating it in the knowledge that every stage of its growth is important.
To blossom is to give life. It’s to encounter Jesus, who lets himself be seen, who comes to meet us, speak to us, challenge us, encourage us, share his peace with us, give us security, joy, confirmation. His way of becoming present is personal and communal, giving rise to relationships and shared experiences among brothers and sisters.
Encounters with him are sometimes fleeting; it seems like all he wants to do is touch our hearts, inspire us to react, shake us out of our sadness, enlighten our hope and bring us back to life: that is to say, “bloom”…because we are loved!
And so, it is out of this experience that our wishes are born: May love be given, received, felt, and shared.
Happy New Year 2024!
L.srs. of Santiago de Chile