During the current pandemic, more than ever before, the earth, humanity and other beings are all in need of healing. The fear, paranoia, suffering and deaths are all a reminder of fragility of human existence and the need to find in us, that little piece of quiet and silence, that is God.Christmas celebrates the great mystery of divine incarnation in the world in the person of Jesus, who exemplifies the brokenness of humanity. The circumstances of his birth in a stable of a crowded inn, his life of simplicity and hiddenness for 30 years as carpenter Josephs’ son and his passion and death at the age of 33, show how Jesus embraced pain, tragedy and suffering as part of his purpose in life to heal us.He accepted the pain, his inevitable death. He walked the way of the cross and through his humble submission to the will of the Father in those final moments, he paved the way for us all to walk the same journey. Christmas makes sense only when we see it in the light of the cross that symbolised Jesus’ life, ministry and death followed by his resurrection.Christmas 2020 will be remembered as a year of the pandemic that caused great suffering to so many; it will also be remembered as the year, when wounded humanity became more aware of its vulnerability.Jesus’ life and especially his ministry was one of compassionate healing of the physically and mentally challenged. By going through the same pattern of suffering and walking the path of crucifixion and experiencing death of the small ‘I’, the ego, we will find that little piece of God within us, the true self.Believers talk about the joy of Christmas. The real reason for this joy is that Jesus took birth in human form to reach out to us and heal, and save a suffering humanity. Jesus came to heal the ‘woundedness’ of daily life, says the contemplative Richard Rohr, and to transform this wound into a sacred wound.God uses the imperfections of imperfect men to fulfill his perfect will. That is what makes Christmas such a significant feast. The coronavirus has made some people turn to God as their only and last recourse. Many however, are still at sea and are trying to figure out why the pandemic had to happen and why so many are suffering.There is little doubt that we have brought about this situation all by ourselves by violating nature, just as Adam and Eve’s sin was a break away from God and the loss of innocence, signalled by their becoming conscious of both good and evil, it was the beginning of a festering wound in humanity, which only Jesus could heal.Today, humanity is at a crossroads. Do we choose a life of total dependence on and surrender to God or a life of fierce independence that does not recognise the divine presence in our midst?By Janina Gomes
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