By Fr. Paul Hansen, C.Ss.R.
The cry went out: OCCUPY. A silent response returned: PRE-OCCUPIED in a life of managing distractions. We are too pre-occupied to truly know the WAY which leads to the TRUTH and eventually to LIFE, eternal life. In eternity there is no past nor future only present, presence, gift.
A homeless child barely clothed sits on a street corner pre-occupied, murmuring the age old Christmas story. It seems to be all that keeps the child warm and offers hope. It speaks of a similar experience in a different time and place so long ago. Life born on the edge of empire, not much stuff of distraction around, simply people trying to be present – the greatest gift of all.
This street corner child invites a new way of seeing, a new way of living. It is called simplicity, integrity, less distractions and more presence to life lived, moments appreciated, friends prized and loved ones blessed. It is a call “to go home by a different route.”
Christmas is a story about the poor triumphing over life’s tough challenges. That is the news that Christmas brings: that a child who comes into the world, however unconnected, however poor and insignificant, however unheralded is a son or daughter of God. Is wisdom incarnate. Is Emmanuel – God among us. Is worth a great deal.
The child murmuring on that street corner is trying to remind us to give birth to the divine child, in our children, in our creativity, in our work and in all our relationships.
“I have come to give you life that you might have it more abundantly.”