Christmas is a feast full of nostalgia. We sing about peace, but do not know how to build it. We wish each other happiness, but it seems it is more and more difficult to be happy. We buy one another gifts, but what we need is tenderness and affection. We sing to a child God, but faith is being extinguished in our hearts. Life is not what we would like it to be, but we do not know how to make it better.
It is not just a Christmas feeling. Life itself is racked with nostalgia. Nothing fills up our desires entirely. There is no wealth that can provide real peace. There is no love that fully responds to our deepest desires. There is no profession that can satisfy all our aspirations. It is not possible to be loved by everyone.
Nostalgia can have very positive effects. It allows us to discover that our desires go beyond what we can possess or enjoy today. It helps us to keep the horizon of our existence open to something that is greater and fuller than everything we know.
It can, at the same time, teach us not to ask of life what it cannot give us, not to expect from our relationships what they cannot provide. Nostalgia does not allow us to live chained only to this world.
It is easy to go about life suffocating the desire for the infinite that throbs in our being. We shut ourselves up in an armor that makes us insensitive to what may be out there beyond what we can see and touch. The feast of Christmas, lived from nostalgia, creates a different climate: one grasps better these days the need for home and security. No sooner than we make contact with our hearts, we get the intuition that the mystery of God is our final destiny.
If we are believers, faith invites us these days to discover this mystery, not in some foreign or inaccessible country, but rather in a newborn child. It is that simple and unbelievable. We have to approach God the way we approach a child, that is to say, gently and quietly, without solemn speeches, but with simple words that come from the heart. We meet God when we open to him the best that is in us.
In spite of the frivolous and superficial tone we create in our society, Christmas can bring us close to God—at least as long as we live it with simple faith and clean heart.
Mass during the Day
John 1, 1-18