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Monday, December 7, 2015

Will the Christ Child Find Room In Your Heart This Christmas?

by Edwin Rodrigues 
Chandigarh, India
reprinted with permission from Sharing Magazine

Mr. Rodrigues can be found at @ed1667 on Twitter
It's December and during the first four decades of my  life, my thoughts have been directed towards cakes, carols, goodies, greeting cards, cute Nativity Scenes, fancy Christmas Trees, lights, and more hustle and  bustle. 

Thankfully, a very dear couple -- though they are not Christian, nevertheless they are very Christian at heart -- gave me food for thought.  Materialism has crept into religious celebrations of every faith.

They did not say this directly, but they made the point when they very politely suggested, “Do not spend money to buy gifts for us.”

Their message is reinforced by  Catholic and Christian media ... and personally, for me, the messages from EWTN.com have had a positive impact.

In retrospect, I wonder whether I have ever genuinely celebrated Christmas the way Jesus would like me to? 

After all, the first manger was not as cute as we depict in The Nativity Scene. It surely must have been very messy, smelly and cold too. Jesus was  warmed by the body heat of the animals and the breath of the cattle. The creatures of the stable must have recognized their Creator and His plight! 
It’s very easy to point a finger at those who denied Joseph and Mary a room at the Inn. The Inn Keeper is remembered negatively because he only offered the stable.  "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7).

Mystically, Jesus is born in every human being. His is a distressing disguise -- a unique disguise that He, as Author chooses to wear in every person, who’s created in His Image. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8)

The first Christmas occurred in obscurity and deep silence. God chose poverty over fanfare and grandeur. Silence is God’s favorite language. Paradoxically, silence is the most elusive language for us especially in our day and time. More often than not, to maintain and offer just one minute of silence in the course of the 1,440 minutes of each day  becomes an uncomfortable experience.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
If I am not properly disposed, that one minute seems like agonizing eternity. Blessed Teresa of Kolkata (Calcutta) often said, “In the silence of our hearts, God speaks of His love; with our silence, we allow Jesus to love us.” 

What a beautiful exchange waits for us there! All we have to do is reach out and take it. 


2 comments:

  1. I feel this was written just for me-The craziness of last few weeks, moving, nothing working,etc was a shock to me--I missed the silence I had an abundance of. It was nice except I missed my Catholic Friends
    so much.
    Speaking of Poor Baby Jesus born out in the cold, the animals helping to keep the King warm reminds me
    of Lent one year when The Cross of Jesus would stay @ ones house for a week.
    At that time I had 2 little puppies & only place they would sleep was my bed, --except when The Cross of Jesus was in my House. Those little guys slept by Jesus Feet all night long. ❤️

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  2. I agree. Gift giving has only some small, distant relationship to Christmas. Only - of course - if it is interwoven with the Gift of Christ to us, of the gifts of the Three Kings to HIm; and the gift of our poor selves to Him. Without Christ, gift-giving is a meaningless act. It is time for Christians to stop going along with the foolishness, the goo, the lies that the media and the capitalists are trying to hoist on us.

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