When I was twelve years old, playing outside at my school, a woman approached me who was in the school teaching religious ed. I remember to this day it was a sunny day, with a fresh breeze. It may have been April. The lady greeted me and said “Hey! I am one of the religion teachers here. She asked me if I was interested in participating in a summer camp. 6 days, lots of kids, lots of fun. I said, yes, I am! That sounds amazing. I also said, “well, my mom probably won’t let me. We don’t have money for that kind of thing.” She smiled, saying “Just think about it. Finances will not be in the way. They can contact me. My phone number is right on this brochure here. And, if you ever want to join our kids group during the week, let me know!”
Flor Molina just lost her baby because she did not have the money to hospitalize her sick child. Desperate to support her other three children, she now began to study how to sew. Hopefully, she would be able to start her own business. Flor’s sewing teacher approached her with a great opportunity: She would help her to go to the US to make better money. Flor took the opportunity, left her kids for a while. But the opportunity turned out to be a lie: her trafficker held her hostage: “My trafficker told me that now I owe her almost $3,000 for bringing me to the U.S. and that I had to work for her in order to pay her back,” she told CNN. For forty days, then Flor was forced to work for 18 hours a day making dresses that were sold for $200 in department stores. She had to sleep in the factory in a storage room, she had to share a single mattress with another victim and received one meal per day. She was threatened. Her passports taken away from her. “I know your children; I know where they are. If you leave this property, they will pay for the consequences!”
Hymn: Come, Labor On Come, labor on. Who dares stand idle on the harvest plain while all around us waves the golden grain? And to each servant does the Master say, "Go work today.
A compass is a powerful symbol we use today. The famous safari app has a compass as a sign, so does a high-end realty group with the same name. It has become an imagery that we use a lot even in literature and movie. I am thinking of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie that came out in 2001 with a pirate called Jack Sparrow with a compass whose needle points not toward north but to what he desires most. Of course, we often like such a compass. However, a real compass is a guide to stay “on route” or on track to your destination. The moral compass is a guide to live the right way within a society, helping to work for the greater good.
"Come together, one and all In the giving spirit Gifts abound here great and small Joyously we feel it"
This piece of music ends the movie A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, when Ebeneezer Scrooge – completely turned around by his encounters of the three Christmas ghosts – joins his own family in joyful celebration. After Scrooge’s ignorance for his employees and their salaries, his ignorance for the struggles of his society, and his heartless disregard for his own family who invited him over for Christmas, three ghosts show him the meaning of Christmas.