Saturday after Epiphany
Wisdom, Chapter 12, Verse 9-11
9 Not that you were without power to have the wicked vanquished in battle by the righteous, or wiped out at once by terrible beasts or by one decisive word; 10 But condemning them by degrees, you gave them space for repentance. You were not unaware that their origins were wicked, and their malice ingrained, and that their dispositions would never change; 11 for they were a people accursed from the beginning. Neither out of fear for anyone did you grant release from their sins.
The combination of divine mercy and power is an unusual paradox, the main emphasis is on creating in man a life that is motivated by love; the divine “imperishable spirit” the breath of life in everything. God’s mercy desires the conversion of all hearts. God gives space for repentance and opportunity for sinners to make reparation for a multitude of evils.
"Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Christmas Weekday - Day Eighteen
In Mexico El Día de Los Tres Reyes (Day of the Three Kings) celebrates the arrival of Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar at the place of Jesus' birth.
On the night before El Día de Los Reyes, the children fill their shoes with hay and leave them outside. It is believed that the Wise Men will stop at each home to feed their horses, leaving gifts in exchange for hay.
Finally, El Día de Los Reyes arrives, and the whole family wakes up to open the gifts left by the Three Kings. However, this is only the beginning. On that day, family and friends gather, while the children keep busy playing with their new toys.
The adults continue with the day's activities by preparing a big dinner and serving a very special dessert, a bread known as La Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread. — by Frances Chaparro, Estela Muñoz and Adrian Zamilpa
Human Trafficking Awareness
Human Trafficking Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual slavery and human trafficking worldwide. Today, there are between 21-30 million people enslaved in the world, more than at any time in human history. Every day, modern slavery can be recognized: children become soldiers; young women are forced into prostitution and migrant workers exploited in the workforce. Human Trafficking Awareness Day seeks to end this slavery, return rights to individuals and make the world a safer place for all inhabitants. Human Trafficking Awareness Day started in 2007, when the U.S. Senate designated January 11th as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the hopes of raising awareness to combat human trafficking. It began as a U.S. initiative, and the United Nations has started to highlight this topic and work towards global awareness with days such as International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
Human Trafficking Awareness Facts & Quotes
· The most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation, accounting for 79% of human trafficking victims. These victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls.
· According to UNICEF, 2 million children are estimated to be trafficking victims of sex trade each year. 20% of traffic victims are children.
· The average age of a girl being forced into the US domestic sex slavery market is 13.
· The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
· It is slavery in the modern age. Every year thousands of people, mainly women and children, are exploited by criminals who use them for forced labor or the sex trade. No country is immune. Almost all play a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination. - United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
Human Trafficking Awareness Top Events and Things to Do
§ Talk to children about strangers and make sure they memorize important addresses and phone numbers.
§ Save 888-373-7888 to your phone. This is number to the National Human Trafficking Resources Hotline.
§ Make a donation to an organization fighting human trafficking.
§ Learn the signs and indicators of human trafficking so that you can learn to recognize it and report it. US Homeland Security offers a training online free of charge.
· Watch a movie about human trafficking. Our picks: Taken (2008), Trade (2007), Human Trafficking (2005), The Pink Room (2011), Nefarious (2011) and Lilya 4-ever (2002).
Know the Signs
Recognizing indicators of human trafficking is key to identifying victims and helping them find assistance.
Look for someone who:
Look for someone who:
1. Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
2. Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
3. Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
4. Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
5. Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
6. Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
7. High security measures exist in work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded-up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
8. Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense or nervous/paranoid
9. Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after mention of law enforcement
10. Avoids eye contact
11. Lacks health care
12. Appears malnourished
13. Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement or torture
14. Has few or no personal possessions
15. Is not in control of his/her own money, has no financial records or bank account
16. Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
17. Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
18. Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
19. Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
20. Loss of sense of time
21. Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
Party at Winterskol in Aspen
Raise a toast to winter in Aspen’s annual Winterskol Festival. The winter tradition is more than 60 years strong and was started by a lodge owner who wanted to enliven the Aspen winter season following Christmas. Today, the four-day winter fest includes a snow sculpture competition, a soup cook-off and a downhill race with apple strudel at the finish line.