God is with us! That good news message revealed to us by Jesus resounds throughout this issue of MARYKNOLL magazine in the lives of people today. We see God present in Father Roberto Rodriguez as he welcomes immigrants to Infant Jesus parish in Japan, where he is pastor, and in those newcomers from other countries, who enrich the parish with the vibrant faith they bring.
We glimpse God at work in the 50-plus-year ministry of Father Edmund Cookson among the Aymara people in the highlands of Peru, where he says, “My apostolate is to say by my presence, ‘God loves you.’ ” His parishioners in turn reveal God to him in their friendship and the invitation they extend to him to share their indigenous culture.
God is present in HIV-positive people in Tanzania who through the ministry of Lay Missioner Joanne Miya find hope to share with others who have the virus, and in Tanzanian children in a Montessori school who are learning through love rather than fear, thanks to the efforts of Sister Celeste Derr.
With former Lay Missioner Maggie Fogarty, we discover God in a village in Bolivia in young shepherd boys, who are oblivious of their own godliness as they go about their daily tasks with kindness and humility.
In his photo meditation, Father Joseph Veneroso reminds us that God is with us through our deceased loved ones who continue to guide us, although invisibly. And in his spirituality column, Father Veneroso highlights those ordinary people among us who “reveal God in everyday things.”
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, when God came to earth to dwell among us, let us take up Father Veneroso’s challenge to look for God in the “living saints” around us and then strive to become a living saint too.
Margaret Gaughan, Editor