The joy of Christmas
By Father Apolinar Samboni
In the present time consumerism caused us to deviate from the Christian meaning of Christmas. During Advent and Christmas many focus on acquiring material gifts for their relatives. Many people enjoy this wonderful time because it is an exchange of gifts among their loved ones. Through material gifts we can express our affection for them. Families feel prompted to buy something to decorate their houses: A Christmas tree, a Christmas manger, little lights, stars, crowns, or something to give to their loved ones. It is common that almost every building has to be decorated with Christmas motifs. Others visit their relatives who have not met for a long time. Others go on vacation with their family. A few join their religious congregation to celebrate the birth of the Savior.
Obviously the meaning of giving a gift makes a lot of theological sense. God the Father gives us his Son Jesus Christ to give his life for our salvation. That is the greatest gift that every human being can receive, whether he is a believer or not. God awaits the return of every son and daughter who has departed from Him. God is waiting for you to walk with Him in this Season of Advent. Although God expects to walk with you every day of your existence no matter what.
However, some may be sad because some calamity happened in their family: a loved one who passed away during this year, their marriage faces a divorce, someone was fired from work, their children moved to another city, in short, so many hard things. In these circumstances it is difficult to experience the joy of Christmas Eve. However, God invites you to live in hope. For example, if you lost your loved one, your mission will be to continue with the work that your loved one enjoyed doing, continue with their goals that they wanted to reach, prepare their favorite food, visit the places they visited, not to feel isolated. On the contrary, to enjoy your memories. Remember that our loved ones who departed for eternity live in our mind and heart. If you change perspective of their absence for their spiritual presence, it will be easier to celebrate this Christmas joyfully.
In these complicated situations, our mission is to visit them, listen to them and be next to them. It is necessary to prayer for them. Show them that God himself is viable to help them out of the grief they experience. God wants you to find your mission and be able to help others. God himself offers as a gift for us.
There is no doubt that for many Christmas is a time to live joyfully. We all expect all the best from ourselves and our neighbors. In some way, we have all celebrated Christmas at some time in our lives. We have fond memories of this wonderful celebration. Most of us have heard or memorized the carol, “Silent Night” Evidently, these memories may be marked by your religious, economic circumstances that affected you in some way. But do not forget to discover the baby of Jesus in each member of your family, in each person who meets you, in each wonderful event that happens in your life. This is the time to live in the joy of a family member. God becomes a child to be sheltered by a family. Remember Luke Gospel invitation, “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in manger (Luke 2:11-12)