"CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT JESUS…....!"
-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*
Christmas is here again! One can feel it in the air! All kinds of shops in the shopping districts are brightly lit and festooned with Christmas decorations. The handcarts in the busy Teen Darwaza area are filled with paper decorations, lanterns, stars, baubles (made in China of course!) and all other things that are needed to decorate one's home or to spruce up the Christmas tree. Slum dwellers tap the door of your vehicle trying to sell you a Santa Claus cap, a mask or some other Christmas trinket. Several malls have already hired guys to wear a Santa Claus costume in order to attract children (Mickey Mouse and some other cartoons are added attractions!). The newspapers are full of advertisements beckoning one to Christmas sales, festive cakes and meals and of course the Christmas dance!.....The list is endless!
No one has any doubt that Christmas is here and everybody is doing their best to cash in, on the festival. One can surely not quarrel with the fact that Santa Clauses, decorations and merry making do help in promoting 'the spirit'. Unfortunately, for many Christmas (by decision or by accident) seems to have been relegated to just that!
Christmas is essentially about the birth of Jesus who Christians believe is God coming down on this earth as a man in order to bring us salvation. The birth of Jesus heralds a new order based on Love, Truth, Justice and Peace. When Jesus was born, the two songs that reverberated everywhere were "Peace on Earth" and "Good news of great joy for all people….!"
Christmas is a time when one needs to transcend narrow domestic walls, selfish interests and above all, the hate and prejudice which often seize us. It is a time for deepening friendships, for forging new relationships, for reaching out to the poor, the marginalized, the destitute, the ostracized, and the unloved….and much more!
Yes, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and the values which he stood for. Let's put Christ back into Christmas….by imbibing and living some of these values today!
24th December, 2011
(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.)
Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall,