The Christmas surprise

Justo L. Gonzalez-

Christmas is a time of surprises. Those who are younger wonder: “What will be in that nice package under the tree, with my name on it?” The older ones ask ourselves: “What will Tía Lola think about the gift we bought her?

Finally the expected day arrives, we open the gifts,… and the next day it is time to collect and clean the house, to take care of other matters. How can it surprise us then that these Christmas times are also for many times of depression, anguish, and even suicide?

The truth is that the bustle of commerce, with its bells, lights and announcements of new toys, hides the real surprise of Christmas – and even confuses the times. Christmas does not end on December 25, it begins.

The Christmas surprise is not in that package under the tree, which piques my curiosity. The surprise is rather that in this world where there are many inventions, but everything seems to always be the same, God comes and comes again unexpectedly. The surprise is in being able to see God in a defenseless child. And the surprise does not end today, nor does it end with the end of the Christmas season on January 6. The surprise is in a God who is able to unite with our condition in such a way that he can walk, cry, die, rise again, ascend… And that he does it, not for his own benefit, but for ours! A God who walks our dusty roads, cleansing the excluded leper, praising the despised widow, criticizing the corrupt politicians! A God who cries our tears, who suffers our pain, who cries for Jerusalem, and for Washington, and for Moscow, and for Buenos Aires…! A God who dies and rises to kill death – to kill, not his, but ours! A human God whose victory is such that humanity itself is seated at the right hand of the throne of God! A God whose surprises do not end at Christmas, but repeatedly occur in our paths, in our great decisions and in our daily walk!

Will we see those surprises? Or will we be like the rich and spoiled child, whom no gift can surprise anymore?

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