Joseph and Mary were a couple of young refugees escaping violence who depended on other people’s compassion and generosity to get by. Mary was pregnant and delivered her baby boy in a mud-filled, smelly barn, surrounded by animals. Nowadays, our Nativity scenes make everything look very clean and comfortable, but pause for a moment and think about it: two scared, lonely, homeless human beings fleeing violence and persecution, having their first baby in a barn! They named their son Jesus, and this baby, a refugee himself, grew up to become a wise teacher of nonviolent activism for justice, solidarity, and peace.
Today, the day we remember and celebrate his birth, let us think about the world we can create if we follow his teachings of selflessness, kindness, and generosity. Let us develop a compassionate and welcoming heart and bring Heaven to Earth, because Heaven is here, if we want it to be.
Many times we excuse ourselves from taking action by saying that we can’t act like Jesus because he was divine, and we are not. We see injustices and do nothing, or very little, because in our minds courageous action is reserved for the super-heroes only, not for normal human beings like us. But perhaps we can take some time during this special day for a deep reflection on questions such as: “Am I open to welcome immigrants? Am I willing to welcome refugees? Do I have in me what it takes to welcome them?” Perhaps we can take some time to look inside ourselves and find a wellspring of inner peace that will make us less afraid, selfish, and judgmental. Perhaps today we may be able to expand our hearts and be more compassionate, generous, and kind. Perhaps today we can open the doors of our dwellings and welcome — really welcome — Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, remembering that all of us are, in one way or another, refugees.
I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas, honoring the memory of the one who exhorted us to be kind by mindfully practicing all the good that he has taught us.
Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect, and write, and who not only strives to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation, mindful living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He organizes Silent Peace Walks.
Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”