by Fr Jorge Crisafulli, SDB,
Salesian missionary in Sierra Leone
An African Christmas? Yes. Africa also celebrates Christmas in its own way. The tropical climate helps to mark the difference. As does poverty. It's very hot here. There's no snow. We're without Christmas trees, without nougat. There are not even large shopping centers with their thousand colored lights that sell Christmas and promote consumption.
But Africa celebrates Christmas with what it has in abundance: its people, children, young people, music, song, dances and the certainty of its faith in God. That's why today I propose to live a different Christmas, a Christmas with an African tone. A Christmas lived in the name of different attitudes:
-in simplicity and austerity, without superfluous things, without waste, without appearances, with just enough on the table and in the heart;
-in optimism based on the certainty of God's closeness, who has come to remain in our midst;
-free from fears and anxieties about the uncertainties of life, because God who created me, loves me and takes care of me;
-in the intimacy of the family, but open to the encounter with the unexpected guest, welcomed with open arms as if one were welcoming Jesus himself;
-in sensitivity for those who have less and suffer more, in generosity and solidarity;
-in tenderness, in silence, in the contemplation of the mystery of God with us;
-in the happiness that one experiences making others happy.
Let's not let be robbed of Christmas! That nothing and nobody steal the spirit of true Christmas! And as Jesus became man, having been born in a humble stable in Bethlehem, may His divinity make us more human, better and more holy.
Merry Christmas from the heart of Africa and best wishes for a 2019 full of Light and peace!
Source: Alfa y Omega