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December 20, 2004

Busy Week

It is so much fun being back in a parish. Task today, put out the shepherds in the creche, and finish my Christmas Homily in Spanish.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at December 20, 2004 10:58 AM

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When I was a little girl, we often went to Belen, about 30 miles from Albuquerque, for Christmas. The Mass and all the Christmas hymns were in Spanish--a memorable one being "Vamos todos a Belen". Of course, Belen is the Spanish name for Bethlehem. To this day I can't hear that hymn without joyful and longing tears coming to my eyes. What a blessed memory--going to "Belen" at Christmas.

Another memory was visiting my Padrino's house every Christmas. My godfather and his wife were from Mexico. Every year they had one room in which he set up a town of Bethlehem with so many structures and individuals. He too followed the tradition of putting out the major Christmas figures at the right time: baby Jesus was put in his manger at midnight on Christmas Eve and the three kings did not arrive until January 6th.

It seemed like the whole town came to my Padrino's during the Christmas season. After time spent in the Bethlehem room, his wife would come out and invite people to the kitchen to eat. There was a never ending table of tamales, frijoles, posole, biscochitos, coffee. Of course, as an adult, I realize there was a never ending stack of pots and pans and dishes for her and the other women in the family who cooked and served and cleaned. They may have been Marthas but they were doing Mary's work: bringing people to Jesus.

Posted by: Maria Elena at December 21, 2004 11:04 PM

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