"She had a good figure and a beautiful face…"

(Esther 2.7)

For four hundred years Christians did not celebrate Christmas.
Perhaps it was not such a bad idea
considering the way commercialization took over this feast.
Businessmen have taken advantage of the birth of this baby
to make more money.

Many Christians have made out of baby Jesus
an opportunity to drink more
to send meaningless cards
to give out gifts in the hope of receiving others in return!
Many Christians take advantage of his birth
to somewhat dust the externals of their Christian life.
We have made out of Christmas a feast full of sentimentalism:
'you can't imagine how happy I feel that day!'
'I don't change Christmas to anything!'
'I feel something here in my heart!'
'I never miss Mass on that day!'
We break the typical routine,
and once a year we play the part of good people.
On that day we become holier, nicer, more generous, sweeter…

Mary lived Christmas differently!
For her it was not an occasion of gifts, cards, food, sentimentalism.
For her Jesus' birth was not a show,
Her baby Jesus was not made of plastic or clay.
Her Baby was made of flesh and blood.
Someone alive…
who moves
who cries
who disrupts your day!

But above all He was someone who changed her life.
So much that from that day onwards she could not live without him!
He was always on her mind and in her heart.
She would speak about him.
She would think of him.
She loved him.
That is why she was 'happy' as Elizabeth told her
While He was still in her womb.

Perhaps the time has come for us to be like Mary again.

The time is over to give presents.
It is time to become presents ourselves.
It is no longer the time for flickering lights.
It is time to become light ourselves.
A light that enlightens and warms others.
It is no longer the time for sentimentalism and self indulgence.
We need to become giving-of-ourselves people
It is no longer the time for cards and futile greetings.
We need to become people who for-give.

Yes, today we do not need any more 'baby Jesus' made of clay.
We rather need 'babies' made of flesh and blood
that are born in us.
Like Mary.

Then we will be able to sing and dance
and eat and drink
as much as we want!

The good news is
That He came.
The grand news is
That He still lives.
And since He still lives…
He can overhaul our value system.
Just as much as he overturned
the whole lifestyle of Mary and Joseph
and that of many others!

Our whole life can be different.
But perhaps this is the problem.
We ado not want to change.

"Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion;
Shout with gladness, daughter of Jerusalem!
See now, your king comes to you;
He is victorious, he is triumphant,
Humble and riding on a donkey,
On a colt, the foal of a donkey.
He will banish chariots from Ephraim
and horses from Jerusalem;
The bow of war will be banished.
He will proclaim peace for the nations,
His empire shall stretch from sea to sea,
from the River to the ends of the earth.
(Zechariah 9, 9-10)

(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.