Christmas Party

Blog Image Marion ReynoldsI often use my small globe as a symbol during prayer. It helps me to focus on our beloved world with its diversity and terrible suffering. Yesterday I experienced the ‘globe’ in a human way. I attended a Christmas party for about 80 people who have travelled from many countries to live in Ireland.

Some are grandparents who came to join their families, and are already settled in our country with very little English due to their housekeeping duties within their families. Others are young men anxious to be accepted into our country, and who need to become proficient in English. Other guests were young women whose children were in school and who were glad to meet others parents. These visitors come from many countries – Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, to name a few. Apart from English being used at the party as the common language, many languages bubbled through the room through chat, laughter, song, fun. We Irish shared some of our songs, and we enjoyed the ‘home’ songs from around the world. We sang, we laughed, we played games, made decorations, and ate amazing food dishes from diverse cultures.

The news bulletins of that day told of protests at the proposed housing of migrants and of yet another arson attack. I realise that this issue is complicated, but as I sat in this Christmas ‘globe’ and wondered about the stories of our visitors, and about the heartbreak and anxiety being carried by many, I celebrated our common humanity, our common love of companionship, hospitality and compassion.

May our hearts continue to keep a place in the inn for the stranger!

by Marion Reynolds SSL