A time of hope – 12/24/2022 – Opinion

O Natal, a Christian feast, has gained many representations throughout history. However, it is worth reflecting on the spirit of Christmas. Even before talking about this secondary representation, let us think about the date in the original sense, the birth of the son of God, the arrival of Jesus of Nazareannounced by kings who come from the East.

The memory of a star that shines in the sky, the simplicity of the manger, the welcome of Maria and Joseph, the appearances of angels to shepherds, the giving of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Memories that point to the kingdom of God, which manifests itself to the humble and the poor.

It is also worth warning: the religious responsible for the temple and its liturgies were not attentive to the arrival of the son of God. Not even the political power of Rome, established in that region. It was the wise men who came from the East and said: “We saw your star and we came to worship you”. It draws attention because, what is not noticed by those leaders established there, is noticed by the periphery.

There is the second cut, which is the unfolding of that same spirit throughout history, which also has its value. The representation of the West in the figure of the Santa Clausthe Christmas tree, the supper, of the people around the table. And it cannot be made unfeasible — nor does it make — the primary memory of Christmas unfeasible.

There is no problem with this issue, especially for us in Brazil, Christmas, families, smiles, hugs. This messes with the imaginary ideal a lot. But what would we like to experience this Christmas? Christmas is a time for reconciliation, for victory over enmity and hatred. Is not true?

The possibility of us all being there, in a fraternal, beautiful relationship, without distancing. When one thinks of this symbol of fraternity, one signals the Christmas spirit and the real purpose of Christmas. It is worth thinking that this spirit is not of a unique and exclusive experience.

The arrival of kings from the East, welcomed by religious guards at the temple, points to the possibility of seeing this spirit in different forms or religious expressions. It is the tolerance of experiences. They have many biases, they are somehow perceived by other eyes, other historical agents. It points to the urgency of tolerance and religious dialogue.

It is also important to emphasize that it is not possible to experience the fullness of Christmas with my table set, but without people. In the same way, I cannot experience Christmas if I realize that my neighbor —and sometimes very close to me— there is no food at home or you are far from your loved ones because some of them are socially forgotten, in a geography of memory erasure.

It’s time to draw attention to social sharing. My deep desire is for the true Christmas spirit to resurface in the heart and life of every Brazilian. The rich cannot have a table all to themselves, the poor cannot have an empty table. This atmosphere needs to generate a desire for fraternity, a table for all and justice in everyone’s home.

A star shines in the skies of Brazil and points to a better future. Let the tables be reconciled. We have lived for a long time within fanaticism and religious fundamentalism that separated tables and family members. It is time for joy to be proposed. Here’s my deep wish for you this end of the year.

I believe that the light shone again for all of us, Brazilian men and women. Merry Christmas!

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