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For Christmas Let Baby Jesus Kindle Love in the Heart of a Sleepy Humanity

Pandemic, grief, fears, economic and environmental crisis... When the storm of a collective shipwreck passes, "we will feel happy just for being alive"

by don Francesco Armenti

Representation of the birth of Jesus (pixabay)

A basket of words,

A fresh flame that  sparkles like snow to burnish our thoughts

Christmas is not playing with dolls,

It’s counting your  wounds after your newly  opened eyes

Have furrowed into your mound of flesh.

These verses by an anonymous poet can help us to celebrate a truly more authentic Christmas. Christmas needs little things to allow us to encounter the Child Jesus:  the courage to think and rethink ourselves as women, men and Christians, and the tenderness that warms existences and hearts with the discretion, the silence and the delicacy of the falling snow.

Christmas is letting oneself be caressed by that “gentle God who dozes on a bed of straw” before whom one must simply and freely surrender one’s thoughts and heart, one’s nostalgia and sadness.  The Mystery of Bethlehem is letting, that God Child come with flames of love, to “kindle the thoughts” of a sleepy, lazy and individualistic humanity; it is a restlessness of love, of authenticity, of awakening, because our God has become man and not a disposable “doll”.

Bethlehem is “counting wounds”: pandemic, altered relationships, grief, economic and environmental crisis and fears.  It is letting the eyes of Jesus dig into our flesh, fragile and wounded, holy and transfigured, to trace in us furrows of fruitfulness, future and hope. May Christmas be for each of us a rebirth and a rediscovery of the beauty sung by the timeless Alda Merini:

“Beauty is nothing but the unveiling of a fallen darkness and the light that has come from it”.

But Bethlehem is also Hope, the Hope that has always held the world and humanity together:

Alexis Valdes writes:

When the storm passes
and the roads are tamed,
and we are the survivors
of a collective shipwreck.

With a weeping heart
and a blessed destiny
we will feel happy
just for being alive.

And we will hug
the first stranger
and praise the luck
of not having lost a friend.

And then we’ll remember
everything we lost
And all at once we will learn
all we had not learned before

We will no longer be envious
because we have all suffered
We will no longer be lazy
And will be more compassionate

What belongs to all will be worth more
than that never achieved
We will be more generous
and much more committed

We will understand how fragile
it means to be alive.
We will sweat empathy
for who is and who has left.

We will miss the old man
asking for a dollar in the market
we didn’t know his name
although he was next to us

And perhaps the poor old man
was your God in disguise.
You never asked for his name
because you were in a hurry.

And everything will be a miracle
And everything will be legacy.
And life will be respected,
the life we have won.

When the storm passes
I ask God, full of sadness
to return us to be better
as he had dreamed we would be»

May the Child Jesus be born again in your life.

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