DON’T WE NEED GOD
There’s a question that hits me every year from the time I start to observe on the streets the preparations that announce the coming of Christmas: What could still be true at the root of those celebrations so spoiled by consumer interest and our own mediocrity?
I’m not alone. I hear many people talk about the superficiality of Christmas, of the loss of its family and hearth character, of the embarrassing manipulation of the religious symbols and of so many excesses and absurdities that today damage Christmas.
But as I see it, the problem is much deeper. How can we celebrate the mystery of a «God made man» as a society that lives practically turned away from God, one that destroys the dignity of the human being in so many ways?
How can we celebrate «the birth of God» as a society in which the celebrated French professor G. Lipovetsky, when describing our current day indifference, could say these words: «God has died, the great finalities have burnt out, but for the whole world it makes little difference, this is the glad tidings»?
It seems that there are all too many people for whom it’s all the same whether to believe or not, to hear that «God has died» or that «God has been born». Their lives continue functioning just like always. They don’t seem to need God any more.
And yet, contemporary history obliges us at this point to raise some serious questions. Not so long ago there was talk of «the death of God»; today there’s talk of «the death of humanity». A few years ago they were proclaiming “the disappearance of God”; today is announced «the disappearance of humanity». Could it be that the death of God is linked inevitable to the death of humanity?
When God is thrown out of our lives, and we are surrounded by a world created by ourselves, one which reflects only our own contradictions and miseries, who can say to us who we are and what it is that we truly want?
Don’t we need God to be born among us once again, a new light that springs forth in our consciences, a path opened up in the midst of our conflicts and contradictions? In order to meet up with that God, you don’t need to go too far. It’s enough to come close in silence to our own selves. It’s enough to dive deep into our questioning and our deepest yearnings.
This is the message of Christmas: God is near you, right where you are, all you need do is open yourself to God’s Mystery. The inaccessible God has become human and God’s mysterious nearness envelopes us. In each one of us God can be born.
Jose Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf