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Christmas Lunch - The Friends


 
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“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbours, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the aimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repai you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just”. 
(Luke, 14, 12-14)

 


Christmas Lunch
in the Basilica
of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome

 

Who are the friends that participate in this Christmas?

They are above all people who live on the road: our tramp friends, homeless refugees, road children. But also beggars, foreigners, gypsies, lonely elderly, AIDS affected, leprous, mentally ill people, prisoners in many parts of the world.

Besides the poor, there are many common people looking for the true meaning of Christmas, which has often become an empty rite, or people asking to help to prepare the lunch, to gather all the necessary things or to serve the meal.

Different ages, but also different languages, traditions, religions: not only Christians but also Jewish and Muslims, a huge crowd without frontiers, this is what today is the Community in the world, and which in this occasion lives a strong syntony.

In the year 2000 Christmas fell on the second-last day of Ramadan, the Muslims' month of fast. This is the reason why in many cities in Europe, Africa and Asia the Community has celebrated in the evening with the Muslims, after the breaking of the fast. It is particularly meaningful that at the soup-kitchen of via Dandolo in Rome the Muslims of "People of Peace" have served the Christian foreigners while they were fasting, and that two days later, in the occasion of the end of Ramadan, the Christian have returned their Muslim friends with the same friendship.

The Christmas lunches are the tangible image showing that different people can live together with respect and friendship: this is the true meaning of the feast.

To prepare the Christmas of Mercy»:

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