mass during the night:
isaiah 9:1-6; titus 2:11-14; luke 2:1-14
mass during the day:
isaiah 52:7-10; hebrews 1:1-6; john 1:1-18
yesterday, i was listening to «grown-up christmas list», which natalie cole first sang in the 90s. in the song, cole reminisces about sitting on santa’s lap and telling him her childhood fantasies. she is grown up now. but she still has dreams… nothing material; nothing for herself! this is what she wants for christmas now:
that wars would never start
and time would heal all hearts.
every man would have a friend;
that right would always win
and love would never end
this is my grown-up christmas list.
what is this illusion called?
these are not clichés! more than fifty artists have covered the song… peace and love and justice are on almost every grown-up’s (and child’s) list!
at the end of another year, these seem a distant dream: genocide by the isis and boko haram; civil war in syria, yemen, somalia and sudan; mass shootings in the us; religious and ethnic intolerance in india; forest fires in siberia, indonesia and california; floods in chennai and cuddalore. will we get what’s on our christmas list or will it remain an illusion?
well, it has not been all bleak this year. world leaders have reached consensus at cop21 paris; democracy is reborn in myanmar; humanity won in chennai and cuddalore when people reached out to help without bothering about caste-class-creed…
things get better… when we bridge gaps among ourselves, and when we think «other». and we find the way to bridge gaps in the miracle of bethlehem. christmas is GOD bridging the gap between him and us… by putting us first; by emptying himself and embracing weakness; by getting involved in our chaos; by pitching his tent among us.
we can help make our wishes come true when imitate the miracle of bethlehem! empty ourselves. be humble (remember the manger!). be present in people’s chaos. and more: be reconciled with others. stand up for the truth. help heal wounded hearts. be empathetic. befriend the friendless. become more eco-conscious: be at peace with all creation (the manger again!); keep surroundings clean; reduce-reuse-recycle…
i pray that you and i can tick off things on our grown-up christmas list… with more peace - love - joy all around. happy christmas!