CHRISTMAS: A JOURNEY OF DESCENT

Light of truth

Paul Achandy CMI

Spiritual journey in all religious traditions is a journey of ascent, not descent. But for Jesus, it is a movement of descent: going down and taking the lower place, not the higher. Being with the least among them, He was denied a place even in the inn. But it does not stop Him. He comes into our world, even when He is unexpected and unwelcome. Despite our efforts to keep Him out, God intrudes. Jesus entered our world through a door marked “No Entrance” and left through a door marked “No Exit.” The whole incarnation is framed by two impossibilities: virgin womb and empty tomb.

The birth of Jesus, God taking human form, is the good news of great joy for every human being (Luke 2:10). What does it mean? It is good to be human; it is good to be on this earth, it is good to be flesh, to have emotions, sexuality and we do not need to be ashamed of any of these. This is what God loves. Christmas gives us the good news: Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). God scripts a new story in my life, a story of His interventions in my setbacks.

Christmas gives a new revelation that my life is not about me and it does not just belong to me, but only in relation to the Other and others. As the descent of Christmas reveals, life and love are poured into us that we may pour into others. More than admiring Child Jesus, I am called to acquire His consciousness and put on His mind and heart. Christmas is concerned not only with faith in Jesus but also with the faith of Jesus movement to the descent – to the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the migrant, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.

Christmas, the festival of human life, challenges us to respect the dignity of the human person and to protect human rights. Christmas babe encourages us to be like little children with a smile on our lips and joy in our hearts. Christmas star guides us to make true discernment in our lives and take new turns in our ways. The wise men tell me to be little away from the palaces of Herod to have inner light. Christmas crib teaches us to be simple as we can so that the poor will feel at home in being with us. Christmas song invites us to share only the Good News in order to make the other greater. Christmas tree urges us to plant new saplings and make the world greener.

Christmas is The Good News of creating bridges and gates in the place of walls and blocks. There is no real Christmas in camps of separation and division. Christmas is not just the festival of the human beings, but of the entire universe, singing Gloria to the Lord who brings peace on earth. I have to transcend myself for a descent – to be Christmas.

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