December 25, 2021
A CHILD IS BORN
A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
The birth of a child is God’s opinion the World should be blessed. Therefore, we pause at this time of the year to remember the birth of one particular child, and in so doing, we honor every child everywhere.
The Gospel narratives concerning the birth of Jesus are stories of exile, oppression, and extermination. Powerful kings, oppressive rulers, and cruel officials seek the death of the child who promises what they forbid and deny. It happens in our own time when indifferent and hostile government leaders refuse to fund health care for the people, subsidies for children, and social benefits for struggling people. The cruel and greedy tyrants of ancient times have passed their heartless legacy to the powerful and greedy of our contemporary society.
Some will think the Christmas story is sweet and mild. All we need do is gather around beautiful manger scenes as we sing, drink, and eat. I pray all will be calm as we observe the festivities of the Holiday Season, but the birth of the child in the Gospel narratives was anything but calm and peaceful. We would do well to ponder these narratives dedicating ourselves anew to care for the poor, the exiled, the outcast, and the rejected. The birth of a child is as serious as it is delightful. Every child in the World belongs to the one family of humankind. They are children of us all, and we must care for them each in our own way.
The great traditions of humankind have powerful stories honoring and celebrating the birth of a child. Such stories remind us that we are all God’s children. Think of the homeless, hungry, abused, and neglected children of the World. We must honor these children with our love and resources as we strive for justice.
A very adult Jesus taught us to love the children and not harm them. He said, “The Kingdom of God belongs to them.” Our theology must honor the child as the presence of God. Our politics must care for the child if justice is to be done. Our lives must inspire the child if we would ever live in peace.
In whatever way you observe the Holiday Season, whatever feast you celebrate, honor the children and bless them. Never walk past a child without blessing them with your heart. Hold them dear to you and feel the warmth of the divine love for us all.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for all the times you blessed the children with your love and care. Never miss an opportunity to be blessed by a child. May this Holiday Season bring you joy and peace now and in the year to come.
As things begin to return to a new normal, we at The Interfaith Peace Project are here for you in any way that you need us. The Antioch Center is now open to fully vaccinated people on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are vigilant and will adjust to any and all recommendations from the state and county. We will continue our work through Zoom as we add in person programs. If you would like to schedule an in person or Zoom program or would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at: