might have happened like this:
welcomed Jesus and his disciples into her home. She had a sister named Mary
who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha
was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord,
do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by
myself?" And Jesus said, "Guys, come on. Martha needs help in the
kitchen. We can talk after dinner when Martha can join us."
It did happen a bit like that yesterday.
I was invited to a tamale dinner, a sure sign in Costa Rica that Christmas
is around the corner. By the time I arrived at 3:00, the corn had already
been cooked and ground, the masa (cornmeal) prepared by the secret family
recipe and set over the wood fire to cook.
while some people cut the banana leaves, others washed them.
the first pot of masa was ready and we began the assembly line to form the
tamales. As you can see in the picture, each pair of leaves received:
a spoonful of masa
a spoonful of rice
2 strips of sweet red
2 green beans
5 chickpeas (garbanzos)
a piece of pork
a piece of chicken
the leaves were folded around the mixture and tied in pairs, to be placed
in boiling water over the wood fire to cook for 2 hours.
prepared 200 tamales, with the help of some 20 people, men and women,
children and youth, ranging from 2 to 91 years old, all helping out in
their specialized tasks.
Between the first and second pot, we stopped to enjoy a cafecito, coffee
with fresh bread and homemade jam.
the time the tamales were ready, the doorbell began to ring and the people
poured in, all the neighbors and friends eager to enjoy a Christmas tamale.
There must have been 50 people, and we were kept busy washing plates for
the newcomers. The house was full of laughter and celebration.
symbolizes Christmas in Costa Rica? Tamales. Tamales, that represent family
and community feasting together, celebrating that God in Jesus joins us at
the table, that we experience God's love and mercy through the loving
presence of those around us. Jesus, donning an apron to help Martha with
if one of the three Wise Men had been Costa Rican, he would have brought
Jesus a tamale, made by the entire community, as the most worthy gift for a