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Christmas Lunch - The Feast


 
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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

 

A world-wide feast

e feast has widen year after year, like a beneficial contagion, and has reached also many countries of the South of the world in all continents.

Beautiful feasts are often organised by few means, thanks to the great involvement of young people, almost living in conditions of great poverty and conflict.

In America, about 4000 people have enjoyed the feast in Salvador, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala and also in Cuba, where the teen-agers of the Country of the Rainbow have enlivened a meal for the elderly.

In Cochabamba, Bolivia, some girls of the Community go to the female prison, where a lot of children are imprisoned together with their mothers. These women, poor and sometimes unlearned, are usually alone and they are not able to undertake their children's growth. This year a lunch has been prepared in prison and all the 600 prisoners participated.

In several cities of Indonesia, one of the most inhabited muslim country in the world, the invitation of the Community is an occasion of feast and friendship among the different religious communities.

The joy of the feast has arrived also in many a place in Africa. Just in Mozambique, Christmas has been celebrated in 16 cities: road children, beggars, lepers, blind people, poor families and lots of prisoners have been involved.

In Africa, poverty appears as particularly hard in prisons. In most cases, there are no beds, toilets and the cells are overcrowded. Hygienic conditions are horrible: it is easy to get ill and sometimes to die. The food given by the prison is not enough. Prisoners, who have no relatives bringing them food, suffer hunger. That is why a lot of African Communities in Mozambique, in Conakry Guinea, in Burkina Faso not only visit the prisoners regularly, but at Christmas' Day they prepare a meal which, for a lot of them is the only true meal all over the year.

In Ivory Coast, in Cameroun, in Madagascar, in Tanzania, in Uganda the feast is celebrated with the blind beggars and the road children.

In Kinshasa, Congo, the children attending the Christmas Feast received the gift of a new dress especially tailored by their friends of the Community.

In Bujumbura, notwithstanding the difficult situation of Burundi, which has lived in war for years, Christmas has been celebrated by having a picnic on the Tanganica Lake shore.

It is meaningful that, in spite of the few means these communities dispose of, tens of thousands people have been reached here, as well as they have been in Europe.

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