‘Tis the season – the season of overspending and material obsessions, that is. Advertisers have worked hard to create a Christmas culture with delusion, illusion, glitz and glitter. But think hard on this: when is the last time that you gave a gift that truly changed someone’s life? It’s possible that you have had one or more of those occasions, but still, you’ll agree that it is rare.
I invite you to visualize the journey that International Samaritan is making toward alleviating severe poverty in garbage dump communities, where a fraction of what you see spent on the latest video game will change a child’s future immensely. You’ve read earlier in this newsletter about how Francisco’s life path was altered because of what he received from International Samaritan – from YOU.
The Vatican Radio provided a great summary of Pope Francis’ dedication on the UN World Environment Day: “Consumerism and a ‘culture of waste’ have led some of us to tolerate the waste of precious resources, including food, while others are literally wasting away from hunger. I ask all of you to reflect on this grave ethical problem in a spirit ofsolidarity grounded in our common responsibility for the earth and for all our brothers and sisters in the human family.”
Be the change in your community, starting with your friends and family. Rather than planning another year of boxes under the tree, come together to give a child a future. Restore their health. Provide a safe place to spend their days and nights. It is a gift that will outlast most others, and one that you will never regret giving. We look forward to another year of serving the least of God’s children, a 180-degree distance from the commercial culture that we see all around us,  and hope you will continue to be part of that journey.
In the Lord,
Father Don Vettese, S.J.