As long as you only bother to go to the cave on December 25th, you’re still stationary.
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Life truly begins when you lift your head up because you’re not satisfied with looking down. Deep dissatisfaction gives rise to a desire to go beyond boundaries and into infinity. It is the nostalgia for heaven that gives flavor to the things of the earth.
We, the Magi, were already used to living life while observing it from heaven. We were accustomed to lifting our heads to scrutinize the light of the stars. There’s one thing we’re sure of: the sky puts you on a journey, because together with its colors, it gathers the melancholy song of all questions, loneliness, hopes and human suffering. In this way, it sends you back to the earth, and it pushes you to continue searching, to go further, never to stop your journey.
We have become travelers of the sky, scrutineers of stars, restless inhabitants of galaxies and constellations. But that year, something like a shiver passed through us: we saw the rising of a star. Its intense light made us feel in our hearts the bite of a deep yearning for infinity, a taste of something unlimited, the unexpected thrill of something new. So, we set out.
Dear Child Jesus, we are those three men you saw at the entrance to the humble dwelling in Bethlehem. We are dreamers, and between science and folly, that bright star that preceded us in the sky ignited in our hearts the desire to go beyond boundaries. Along the way, the star illuminated not only the sky above us, but also the inner maps of our searching. It became light in our darkness, reminding us that no existence is condemned to darkness if it yearns for light. The joy that caught us by surprise when we arrived in Bethlehem was indescribable. We found You: an infinite smallness in which we saw the infinite greatness of God.
We found You: an infinite smallness in which we saw the infinite greatness of God.
This Christmas, too, dear Jesus, many will come as we did to the doors of the cave, and we would like to be a compass for them, so that they can truly find you.
It’s Christmas—we’d say to them—when you learn to look up from the ground. It’s Christmas when you do not crawl along as a slave and do not bow your head before the powerful; when you’re not satisfied with small calculations, but feel hunger pangs for the stars; when you’re not satisfied with the things of the earth, as beautiful as they may be, because you know that you’re made for heaven; when fear doesn’t force you to look away, but rather you raise your head because you feel that your liberation is near.
It’s Christmas when you learn to make room for restlessness. As long as you only bother to go to the cave on December 25, you’re still stationary. As long as you love a quiet, peaceful life and stay within your comfort zone, there’ll be no surges inside you. Life begins when restlessness pushes you on a journey, when you set out, when you seek the true meaning of things, when you don’t stop asking, and when you devote yourself to the search for infinity instead of the comfort of your sofa. The open sea is more dangerous than the shore, but if you stay on the shore you’ll never get a good catch of fish.
It’s Christmas if you focus your eyes on the star of heaven, which opens you to an encounter with the God Child, instead of letting yourself be seduced by the false light of shooting stars, which promise happiness but drag you into the vortex of slavery. The star that wants to illuminate our life with meaning, Jesus Christ, remains forever and shines even when night is coming in the sky of our life.
A letter from Joseph to Jesus 2,000 years later
While you are on your way, in search of God and yourselves, do not stop by to see Herod. He had deceived us, so we were warned to stay away from him. It will be Christmas when you steer clear of every Herod, who today takes the form of violence, selfishness, pointing the finger, trampling on the weakest, duplicity and deception. When you strip your heart and give it over to transparency, simplicity, and gratuitous love: then it will be Christmas.
When we arrived at the cave, in the darkness of the night in Bethlehem, the eyes of a Child shone with light. Know how to look at your children with love, let yourselves be enlightened by their clear and pure gaze, and learn from their smallness.
On entering, at the sight of the Child we prostrated ourselves to adore him. To him, you too must offer the gold of your life, the perfume of your love and of your good works, and the incense of prayer. Everything will be multiplied: you’ll become precious gold for anyone who approaches you, the fragrance of bread and goodness for those who are hungry, and prayer for the needs and sufferings of the world.
Full of joy, we went back to our house, keeping the eyes of that Child in our heart. Meeting God and welcoming him into your life, go back to your house. Embrace your wife, your children, and whomever you meet on the way. Tell them that it’s not Christmas only at Christmas, but every time you raise your head and remember that up there Someone loves you. There’s still hope in the world… as long as the sky has enough stars!
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