December 24

The true meaning of the Christmas

Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people.  He has raised up a horn for our salvation ….   And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Lk 1,67-79

We go around in the streets of the city being surrounded by neon signs and glittering shops. The people full of colored parcels walk in the street and wish “Merry Christmas”. The newspapers, the television and all the world’s media and entertainment wishes us “Merry Christmas”. Wherever we find people dressed as Santa Claus and there is no house where there is not a tree sparkling with lights and colored balls. “Merry Christmas” here, “Merry Christmas” over there, “Merry Christmas” everywhere. These are expressions of joy which gladden the heart, raising expectations and anxiety in the children and in those who are able to make them back as little kids. However, it is a good thing if this party atmosphere, which illuminates the heart of the winter, is not limited only to this. Infact, we have to avoid the risk of turning the Christmas into a party detached from its true meaning and its power to regenerate our spirit. The man, increasingly “tired and oppressed” has a deep need to live the Christmas, finding moments of silence and meditation to prepare to welcome the Lord who comes. This canticle of Zechariah, gushed with happiness for the birth of that child who, being grown up, will become John the Baptist, shows us the way to recover the true meaning of the Christmas. Then we find, within ourselves, some moments of silence to meditate on the wonderful event of the Christmas, as we are announced by the today’s gospel: “he has visited and brought redemption to his people. He has raised a horn for our salvation”. This truth of faith according to which in Jesus of Nazareth God became part of our humanity, needs time and silence to flourish and to take root in our hearts. Time and silence, to let be born in us that child who, once grown, will become “prophet of  the Most High” and will go “before the Lord to prepare his ways”. This is the way to become witnesses of the gospel, in the environments of which we have been called to live. Please act, Lord, such that this canticle of Zechariah will become our canticle, our joyful witness.

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