For the past 10 years I have been living half of my Advent in Spiritual Exercises (an 8-day silent retreat) but this year was different. This Christmas while most people were in Christmas parties, buying last minute gifts, baking cookies, singing Christmas carols…I was on a poor island just 713 miles away from Miami, FL: I was in Haiti.
I was with 27 college students and Fr. Michael Mitchell, LC. Wow what a preparation for Christmas: Holding babies that in a few short hours where going to see Baby Jesus face to face. One baby was going to heaven while another was ready to be born. And then the beginning of 2013, no time to make New Year’s resolutions, back to the Haiti I want on the 2nd with 15 missionaries, this time a melting pot of people: A married couple with their two teens, 2 professional young people, 3 college students, 1 high schooler and two priests. Giving a brief morning reflection to such an audience is a real challenge!…Again in the mist of poverty, misery, destitution, abandonment, and suffering there was a profound peace and joy.
Many say that the way you finish your year or start the year will mark the way you live it…Well I hope I can live my 2013 like these past weeks: Sharing my consecration with young people, bringing them close to the heart of Christ; sharing His love with them and through them, the poorest of the poor; leaving my comfort zone by giving myself to serve others; praying with an open heart letting Christ talk to my heart; using my heart to the max loving Him in ALL and ALL.
So there, I just wrote my wish list for 2013: Share Christ, serve others, get out of my comfort zone and pray.
I invite all in this year of faith to do the same. This is the year to challenge our beliefs and put them into ACTION.