A Christmas tale
Every year we are surrounded by signs, inside and outside our homes, that talk to us about Christmas and somehow define it: colors, smells, melodies, sensations …
So let’s try for a moment to close our eyes and imagine to eliminate, one by one, all the things that create that atmosphere around us: the dreamy gazes of the nativity figures, the lights of the Christmas tree, the decorations, perhaps the snow, certainly the illuminations, the paper and the ribbons of the packages and so on.
What’s left? Little or nothing? Are our eyes able to see Christmas?
In the void we created, let’s try to imagine a scene. It’s night. There is a young couple, the features and their voices are not local. She is clearly tired and leans on the shoulder of her companion. They enter inside what looks like a clinic, accompanied by an elderly woman. They have already been rejected by two hospitals … The same old story takes place every holiday season: no beds available and most hospital staff off duty.
The old woman is a recently retired obstetrician, whom by chance was that night volunteering in the last structure visited by the couple. Given the conditions of the young woman, she brought the two in her small private practice, that had been closed for months, to try what she could to help her.
It’s cold, there’s little light, but at least there is running water. While preparing the essential for giving birth, the woman learns from the young man that the two are in town to fulfill some mandatory legal obligations. They have traveled a lot, often in dire conditions. They had not yet managed to find a place for the night when when the young woman was taken from the first labor. And then the wandering started from hospital to hospital.
A weak cylinder heater starts to heat up the environment. And here, once again, the miracle of life. A son of a man, a boy, who is kept warm from the warmth of his mum and some cloth found by chance. The young father looks amazed at this new creature, happy and trembling for this new fragile life and for the future that awaits all of them.
What do you think? does this scene describe the precariousness of many people around us?
Are our eyes still able to see Christmas?
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (Luke 2, 1-7)