«Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs» (Proverbs 10:12).
One of the happiest Christmases of my life was spent several years ago in Nuevo Simojovel, in Chiapas, Mexico, an indigenous community located several kilometers from the capital of that province. It is a population of displaced persons, that is to say, people expelled from their land because of their religion. That Christmas decided that, instead of receiving, the time had come to give. Several kind church members gathered medicine, clothes, toys, and food. Another group accompanied me—including some doctors—to the place in question: a total of four vehicles full of gifts for these people. So we embarked on the arduous path and, after a few hours, we arrived without problems. We worked all day: distributing food, caring for the sick, handing out clothes, and gifting toys to the children. We ended up very tired, but we felt happy to serve as we contemplated the excited faces of the little ones and the looks of gratitude of the adults! An impression of profound well-being invaded our consciences. We were very happy to share with others a little of how much God had given us.
The interesting thing is that Christmas is frustrating for a lot of people. It is a time when depression increases and you see very sad faces. Why? In part, because many insist on placing a selfish and consumerist nuance to this time of year. And of course, there’s never enough money to buy everything that pleases the eye. In other cases, this date evokes memories, experiences, and scars of the past. The truth is that the more you focus on yourself, the worse you feel. Instead, how different it is to think that we can alleviate the burdens of others with a little of what we have. I am convinced that service to others is one of the most effective ways to overcome the personal frustrations that ruin our lives.
It is possible that this year things have not gone as expected. But don’t abandon yourself to pain and lament! Rather, be willing to do something for someone who is in a worse condition than you are. Learning to serve others is very important to prepare our life for courtship and marriage. Giving without expecting anything in return is a necessary principle to be happy in this world.
These are lessons to learn as soon as possible. I assure you, your life will change.