Honestly it is difficult to write a spiritual reflection on the eve of Christmas. It is always a time for me to get away from my routines, to let go and not be bothered about the past or care about the future. Christmas for me is very much about the now and the wow. The “now” in the sense that I wish that the present will stand still so that I could enjoy the “wow” for a longer period.

Because Christmas brings on revelry and put aside rivalry. Everyone is more chill and nicer during this period. Around mass timings, I admit my schedule is dotted with party timings. For me, Christmas can be a more difficult day than Good Friday to focus and reflect on faith. Ironically because Christmas is joyful. But can it quite be that our humble and generous Savior is joyful for this to be so even if we sometimes forget him as the reason for the season?

It has been easier for us to focus on the Savior on Good Friday. But the real danger here is that we get stuck at the foot of the cross. Religion, Christianity, faith run the risk of being equated only to suffering. So come Christmas some people are reluctant to allow the Savior to enter their hearts and lives because accepting him and embracing faith mean a life of suffering devoid of joy. From the life testimonies of many who accepted this gift of Christmas, there is nothing further from the truth.

As I stood at this spot taking today’s photo, I thought of this parallel that course through our life, this intertwining journey of joy and suffering. Detailed scrutiny of this photo shows a little bridge linking both sides, and there were more bridges further up. I was then struck by a deeper meaning of the parallel paths.

The Savior does not impose himself on us. He does not demand obedience or belief through authority or law. He allows us the freedom to walk our path in life. Unseen and unknown to us, he walks step by step alongside us on the path close, and parallel to the path we choose. He patiently wait for the opportunity for us to allow him to come across the bridge to enter our life. And he will patiently wait and journey each step till we reach the end of our earthly path. Such is his faithfulness to us.

“He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the Lord” (First Reading)

Sometime in life we will come to encounter this powerful presence of the Savior in our life. It is likely to come in an event in our personal life that brings about some suffering and grief. The Holy Spirit will be like a little bridge linking suffering to joy. When that happens my soul in me will leap for joy.

‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’ (Today’s Gospel)

Our Savior want to visit us in our life events. As we walk on the path of life, know that at every “now”, at every moment, the Savior is present for us to embrace. Christmas can be with us for our entire life journey when we become fully aware of the parallel path he is walking on to guard and feed us, to turn suffering into joy. Let us revel in His presence.

Merry Christmas!

two paths

4th Sunday of Advent