“A guru asked his disciples how they could tell when the night had ended and day begun. One said, ‘When you see an animal in the distance and can tell whether it is a cow or a horse.’ ‘No’, said the guru. ‘When you look at a tree in the distance and can tell if it is a neem tree or a mango tree.’ ‘Wrong again’, said the guru. ‘Well, then, what is it?’ asked the disciples.
‘When you look into the face of any man and recognise your brother in him: when you look into the face of any woman and recognise in her your sister. If you cannot do this, no matter what time it is by the sun it is still night.” (Prayer of the Frog, Anthony de Mello, p227).
At Christmas, we celebrate Emmanuel, God-with-us. How can we recognise God with us if ‘it is still night’? As I look around today, I see those whose lives are lived in the light – who recognise each person as their sister or brother. I also see those whose lives are more in shadow. Christmas reminds us that all is not as it should be. However, Christmas also reminds us where we are headed and God’s grace will guide us.
Young people sense this bright vision of God-with-us, where each person is our sister or brother. It is what motivates them in all of their efforts towards social justice. Our role is to ensure they clearly see the origin of that vision – the source of all good, God.
Wishing you a great week and a great holiday. May you be showered with peace and love at Christmas and may that bright vision be your guide throughout 2015