LAMP Christmas: Preaching Good News to the Poor

Sr. Agnes Therese quiets us down, inviting us to step away from our seemingly important tasks. 

She invites us to remain at the feet of Jesus – to adore Him.  She invites us to be present and to remember that this is what Christmas is all about.

This is the calm before the storm.  As soon as the doors open, we will be serving Jesus in the distressing disguise of over two hundred and fifty people living in poverty. 

This past Saturday was the Christmas edition of our catechetical “breakfast club”, LAMP.  It was all hands on deck, with as many sisters as possible helping out and a multitude of volunteers from the local area.  Their generosity was a huge witness throughout the morning. 

No Christmas party is complete without a Nativity play!  Each year we invite the kids to put on a performance, which can take on various forms depending on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  

This year one of our postulants, Sarah Kilonsky, organized a beautifully simple enactment of the shepherds coming to Bethlehem.   Most of the kids, about fifty altogether, were able to participate, with the boys being shepherds and the girls being angels.  
Sr. Teresa with the "angels"

Each shepherd approached the manger and adored the baby Jesus, with the simplicity of a child that we are all called to have.  Afterwards Sarah gave a short exhortation, encouraging us to give Jesus our hearts this Christmas.  

We, like the shepherds, have no treasures to give Jesus.   In our poverty, we must simply give Him ourselves.

The shepherds kneeling before "Mary" played by
Sarah Riffon, postulant
We also had activities for the kids, caroling, and raffles.  For some kids the highlight of the morning was that they were given gifts, especially those whose family couldn’t afford any otherwise. 

Of course, all of this is not the point of LAMP.  We constantly remind ourselves that ours is primarily a ministry of presence.  As Sr. Agnes Therese reminded the volunteers, we are called to remain at the feet of Jesus, like Mary of Bethany, to “choose the better part.”  At LAMP, Jesus is found in the poor.

Having been here for a little over a year, I am beginning to get to know some of the families that we serve and it was so good just to be with them.  Some of us just held babies for the whole time!  

Looking around at the complete chaos, I just had to marvel at the tangible presence of Christ, at the love present among all those people squished into a Church basement.  

Christ is present right in the midst of our mess and in the middle of the mess (literal and figurative), I realized “it is good for us to be here!”

_Victoria Clarizio, postulant

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