Published:  12:00 AM, 25 December 2016

Christmas: Celebration of the birth of Christ


Some of M. K. Gandhi's words on Christmas, the birth of Christ, are as stated here: For though we (sing), "All glory to God on High and on the earth be peace," there seems to be today neither glory to God nor peace on earth. As long as it remains a hunger still unsatisfied, as long as Christ is not yet born, we have to look forward to Him.

 When real peace is established, we will not need demonstrations, but it will be echoed in our life, not only in individual life, but in corporate life. Then we shall say Christ is born.

That to me is the real meaning of the verse we (sing). Then we will not think of a particular day in the year as that of the birth of the Christ, but as an ever-recurring event which can be enacted in every life…" (What Jesus Means to Me by M.K. Gandhi). Although there words were spoken many years back, how true they are even today!

For example, one of my acquaintances was celebrating his 50th Birthday on 25 November, 2016. As usual, I was invited along with number of his other friends. The house was decorated very befittingly as it's the fulfillment of a half century. All his family members were wearing glittering dresses to mark the historical day.

 His wife, albeit was also wearing a new sari, but for some reason, she didn't quite reflect the joy and happiness that was expected of her on this auspicious occasion.

When enquired about her plight, it was found that there has been an unpleasant incident that had taken place between her and her husband.

For that reason, she couldn't forgive him from her heart, and thus a sort of sadness overshadowed the merriment and joy that was taking place at the time. She did not have the peace of mind, and thus, the true love was required; that could have lifted up her spirit to enjoy this special and precious moment of life.

This kind of situation can and does exist between and among members in many of the families. Being unable to forgive and forget each other, they cannot fully participate in the joyful events and celebrations such as birthdays, marriage anniversaries, graduations, achievements at jobs, etc. that come their way.

Today, 25th December, is the Birthday of Jesus Christ. It's a day of immense joy and cheerfulness for all, especially the Christians, who observe this day as one of the most important feasts of the Christian religion. But the gaiety and jollity that it can bring is shattered by blemishes held tight in our hearts and minds.

What can one do to get rid of these imperfections to wholly emerge him/her-self in the enjoyment and fulfillment of the celebration at hand, in this case, the Christmas - the Birth of Christ? One needs to have a clean heart free from all vices - anger, resentment, bitterness, hatred, envy, pride, boasting, greed, wrangling, treachery, spite, slander, rude, arrogant, and so and so forth.

It is very important to have a heart full of love as St. Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres" (1 Cor. 13: 4-7). Some of the very outstanding quotations of Christmas by famous people that are well worth pondering, especially at Christmas this year:

"It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you… yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand." - St. Teresa of Kolkata "I have always thought of Christmas as a good time; a kind, generous, pleasant time; a time when men and women seem to open their hearts freely, and so I say, God bless Christmas!" - Charles Dickens.

"Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection." - Winston Churchill Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." - Dale Evans

"God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it." - Pope Francis

Let the Birth of Christ transform our hearts and minds from unhappiness to jubilation, hatred to love, and from harness to forgiveness; not holding any malice of any sort against anyone.
Merry Christmas to you all!

The author is provincial, Holy Cross Brothers, Bangladesh. He can be reached at
hbrodriguescsc@gmail.com

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