“None can trace your footsteps, Lord”

(Psalm 77.20)

There are animals that change the colour of their skin
depending on the environment they are in:
they turn green when surrounded by green, dark brown in the midst of brown.
They become indistinguishable –
no one detects them and so they are left in peace.
A defence mechanism to avoid unnecessary problems.

This is what a number of animals do.
They are called chameleons.
This is what most of us, humans, do.
We change colour according to the environment:
we just do what others do,
we speak like others
we reason things out like others,
we follow the same fashion like others.
We just blend!
Mimetic animals we are!
It is so much easier to just let go
and follow the current
than to go against it.

However, happily, occasionally
we meet people who dare to be different.
People who are not discouraged by the ugly looks
and mockery of these human chameleons.
People who are somehow aspire more than normality.
People who somehow managed to go beyond.
People of faith.

The most renowned amongst them…
was even born differently.
He was born in pitiable conditions
away from people
forgotten by all
outside the city.
His name – yes, you have guessed correctly - was Jesus.
And the great news is that His name could be yours!
Yes, we are not condemned to be human chameleons.

You can be joy amongst the long faces and negativity that surrounds us.
You can be love amid folks who only care about themselves
and who give to others the scraps that fall from their table.
You can be a gift among people
who are locked in the empty exchange of
you-give me-this-so-I-can-give-you-that.
You can be radiant in the middle of a populace
who feel uncomfortable in the light.
You can be a wonder in the middle of those
who are missing out on the miracles that surround them.
You can be free in the midst of the majority
who are enslaved by sin-sadness-self pity.
You can be new amongst common, typical, mediocre individuals
who do not believe that tomorrow should be more beautiful than today.
You can be adventure even if surrounded by resigned people
who do not even know why they are living!

The Christian belongs to the Freedom-To-The-People-Party!
We are called to be different precisely because we are called to be free.

Free from the social powers
of what people think and say about us.
Free from the psychological powers
of finding refuge in sex, food, computer when one feels unloved.
Free from the affective powers
of always assenting not to lose the love of others.
Free from the political powers
of letting others reason for us,
of kissing the hand we would rather see cut off!

Jesus Christ
was not afraid to go in the square of the temple
and knock over everything that was not holy!

Following Him.
we can enter into the battle –
the battle against the catechesis of the world
the battle against our damaging flesh
the battle against the proud devil.

There is hope for the future
if you and I
become different.
Like our Master.

Look, He is the God of my salvation:
I shall have faith and not be afraid,
For Yahweh is my strength and my song,
He has been my salvation.
Joyfully you will draw water
From the springs of salvation
And, that day, you will say,
Sing of Yahweh, for his works are majestic,
Make them known throughout the world.
Cry and shout for joy, you who live in Zion,
For the Holy One of Israel is among you in his greatness
(Isaiah 12, 2-6)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.