PARAGUAY, by Maria Fischer •
“The first and basic dimension is the mercy of God the Father, ‘…a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness..’ (Exodus 34:6), which is repeatedly given to us, and which we repeatedly experience. The second dimension is our attitude of mercy to everyone, and in particular those who suffer. Two parables of Luke’s Gospel – the Gospel of mercy – clarify both aspects. The first, the vertical dimension as it were, finds expression in the parable of the prodigal son and the merciful Father (Lk 15). God embraces us with his mercy and forgiveness. The second, horizontal dimension, is illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk.10): He practices mercy towards the stranger, who he sees and treats as his neighbor. God’s mercy, which we experience in the forgiveness and tender love of God, and in his consolation, becomes effective in actual works of love towards the people around us. Mercy has something to do with action, as we have heard in the Gospel.”
Mercy has something to do with action
Mercy has to do with works: “Schoenstatt reaching out” has to do with mercy. It has to do with works, with acting… “Schoenstatt reaching out” becomes concrete, it becomes real in social work, in missionary and social projects such as María Ayuda, Dequeni, 100 houses in solidarity, Prison Ministry, Mercy Home, Casa del Niño (Children’s Home) and so many more.
And it also becomes concrete and real in what Mima Cardona, of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in the interior of Paraguay shared a few days before Christmas:
“I am very busy, and in a little while, we will prepare the boxes of sweet bread or Christmas bread as we call it. It is going north, to Vallemi for the natives, Yby yau for the grandparents and to Concepción for the families from the bank of the river that is now under water. Three Schoenstatt families from Ciudad del Este collaborated with this generous gesture.
It is very beautiful, it is not much, but we do a little like the hummingbird who takes a drop of water to put out the fire..”
On 23 December, missionaries went to distribute Christmas bread in the indigenous settlement on behalf of the Campaign. Now it is Christmas.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited by: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA