Our friend Eliomar had prepared a reflection which included two gifts—one wrapped like garbage and scribbled on, and the other wrapped beautifully with glittery ribbon. He asked two kid volunteers which one they wanted, and they both chose the beautiful one. He gave them the gifts and asked them to open them. Inside the beautiful one were nasty old fruit peels and garbage. Inside the scribbled package were chocolate and candy.
In one of our local tribal languages, Kichwa, the word for a stranger is “chikan” meaning “separated.” The meaning becomes especially relevant when we consider that the Church is asking all of us missionary-disciples to build “bridges that foster a culture of encounter.”