CHRISTMAS CENTRED ON CRIB!
-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*
In the world of today, we are driven and governed by a market which only emphasises crass consumerism with Santa Clauses and Christmas trees, decorations and illuminations, drinking and dancing, new clothes and gifts. These often remain the only focus of our celebrations. It is indeed human to want the material trappings of a festival, however a true Christian will never lose sight of the fact that Jesus, our Saviour is born on Christmas day and that too in a crib. Christmas is therefore all about CRIB!
Compassion is the heart of Christmas and is the greatest act of a God who shows compassion on every single woman and man of His creation. Because of this compassion, Jesus comes down to this world as our Saviour, giving us the message of love, and teaching us to reach out to others in acts of total giving. The most profound way in which we can celebrate Christmas is by reaching out in compassion to the poor, the lonely, the rejected, the victims of a society which is becoming more and more insensitive and uncaring.
Renewal is the moment of grace which is gifted to each one of us at Christmas. This renewal is preceded by a realisation that Jesus comes into the world for me and He invites me to enter the dynamic of reconciliation with Him, with others, with creation and with myself; allowing His healing touch to make me a new person again. Renewal is above all the ability to start afresh and to be a meaningful instrument in communicating God’s peace, love, hope and joy to all whom I encounter in this journey of life.
Interiorisation is fundamental to Christmas; like Mary who treasured all things in her heart. Jesus is the priceless treasure and making Him an indispensable part of our way of proceeding is what Christmas is all about. That’s what the shepherds did when they left their flock and ran in haste to worship baby Jesus. The Magi too travelled long distances to meet the true King as they realised that it is only Jesus that matters and not the Herods of this world.
Blessedness is what the angels sang about on that first Christmas night – “Glory to God in the highest and peace to all men and women of goodwill”. It is what Jesus constantly reminds us of during the sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are you”, He tells His disciples who wish to follow Him; a blessedness which is epitomised by St. Joseph who not only takes care of Jesus and Mary but also proves that he is a just man. It is a call to each one of us to radiate this blessedness always.
So as we celebrate yet another Christmas, we need to make every effort to put Christ back into Christmas and to centre Christmas on crib, a call to compassion, renewal, interiorisation and blessednes
24th December, 2014