Thursday, December 18, 2014
Another world is being born
December 18, 2014
Christmas ornaments now shine in the streets and houses. The tree and the crèche are ready to receive Jesus, so he can be born. When I say Jesus, I don't mean some dogmas, whatever they may be. I'm talking about a life and a hope that renew the world. I'm naming what is already at the foundation of everything and the prophecy of what will fully be, if we make it so.
Let's make it so. What you believe doesn't matter but open your eyes and the deepest part of your being. May your eyes rejoice like those of a child when seeing the lights, the tree, and the crèche, and may they see everything through the light of the heart. May your heart, despite it all, keep on beating in peace, in the Peace that creates and transforms everything.
We certainly don't have it easy. The nth woman has been killed by chauvinist violence. More than three thousand immigrants have perished (murdered!) so far this year in the waters of the Mediterranean, and how many others have been "returned in a flash" to die without water or land, we know not. The nth climate summit has concluded without facing the planetary emergency, limiting itself to saving face with a vaporous agreement in stoppage time. Luis Alberto González has just been fired from his institute because the Diocese of Canarias has withdrawn his license to be a teacher of religion for having married his same-sex partner (it wouldn't be bad if Pope Francis would intervene in order to make very clear what this "welcoming homosexuals with mercy" means).
I'll continue. They tell us that the crisis is over but what's certain is that the rich are now much richer while the poor are much poorer and much more numerous, and through pure logic we may deduce that the crisis was invented by the rich -- now we know why. The 85 richest people in the world increase their fortunes by one million dollars a minute. Six of every ten young people in Spain are planning to emigrate to seek a future. They create jobs without increasing the total wages given out. Corruption has invaded the political system, which worships Mammon, and surely what's known up to now is just the tip of the iceberg that perhaps we'll never know but that exists and is sinking us. The financial powers appoint governments, rule the political parties, control the media, and this is called democracy and freedom. The United States and Europe are negotiating a treaty (TTIP) behind our backs so that the big companies can go on ruling the states at will.
And much more. The price of oil has gone down, not merely by chance but to sink Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Iran, dangerous rivals to the dominant system. The powerful appeal to human rights when it suits them and torture and kill without scruples whenever it's in their interest and they can (look at Guantanamo, look at the Middle East, look at Africa, "the sin of the West"). Ebola is no longer of interest because there are no longer any whites who are infected. And while all this is happening, they distract us with the mischief (or whatever) of "Little Nicholas"...Behold our world.
But no. There's another world that's warmer and more fraternal, and much more real. Another world is being proclaimed in the ruins of this world. Another world is being born each day in this world amid labor pains, from struggle and tenderness. A grandfather just told me, full of excitement, that a few days ago in a hospital in Madrid, his chubby, adorable grandson was born, a "gift of God" who has the whole family "over the moon." He has Down syndrome. Malala Yousafzai, a 17 year-old Pakistani young woman who was shot by the Taliban extremists for her advocacy for education for girls in her tortured country, has just received the Nobel Peace Prize. Countless social movements are lifting their voices and hands for this other world within this world, where all of us beings will be freer and more brotherly, and happier with less.
They are little lights lit in hearts and on trees. It's the true Christmas. It's the world Jesus saw coming, an unstoppable Advent. It's the world that he hoped for, that is, that he imagined and brought to birth from cradle to cross, from cross to resurrection. We can too. If we can look at these lights with the eyes of a child, if we let ourselves rejoice with a child's heart, then we can too. And even if we lose we will win, like Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.