Xavier de Verchère

But in the face of this frenzy, it is possible that Christians, despite themselves, are a little blind, almost passive, embarked on the great river of our consumerist societies. As my sister Marine often repeats: “In fact, we give each other gifts, but we don’t need anything!” Way that to say it is less the object than the affection expressed through the gifts which is essential.

Christian spirituality is that of giving

Gift filled with affection and which does not rhyme with consumption! By re-reading the liturgical texts of this feast of the Nativity, I became aware of the calls that God addresses. Calls that shock our sleeping hearts.

Let’s take even five minutes to read the prophet Isaiah again. I quote :

– Chapter 62: “For the cause of Zion, I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem, I will never cease (…) No one will say to you: “Forsaken!” To your country, no one will say: “Desolation You will be called “My Preference”.

– Chapter 9: “A child has been born to us… his name… Prince-of-the-Peace. And power will expand, and peace will be endless!”

Prefer this child and peace! This peace, young Ukrainian scouts and guides are spreading it at this very moment. On December 10, braving the cold and the fear, their small delegation came to Austria for the Bethlehem Peace Light, light on in Bethlehem in the Basilica of the Nativity. Their testimony moved the whole congregation: “Our country is at war, but scouting continues!” They took her home. Right now they are sharing it all over Ukraine and have even taken it to President Zelensky.

Pope Francis speaks out for a more restrained Christmas closer to Ukrainians

In November, Pope Francis called for an examination of conscience, in line with Isaiah. It basically says: rather than consuming, save forUkraine. How ? By lowering the level of expenditure in order to save and send donations to the Ukrainians “who suffer so much”! And François to deplore the cold and the hunger of the population: “Let’s make a more humble Christmas, with more humble gifts.” The pope ends by saying: “A Christmas, yes; at peace with the Lord, yes, but with Ukrainians in our hearts.” The Don Bosco Foundation has also opened an online kitty in this sense to help the children and young people of the Salesian works in Ukraine.

So let’s take the time for discernment on this Christmas Eve

Because it is indeed the coming of the Child-God in our world, poor, naked and defenceless, Messiah of a Kingdom of justice and peace who will gather in our churches and cathedrals. The Lord is there, he has already come, but he is counting on Christians to complete this plan, and this, for Ukrainian children. So, let’s be prophetic, generous: less for us and more for them! This is I believe the Lord’s call for Christmas 2022.

Xavier de Verchere is a Salesian priest of Don Bosco, chaplain general of the Scouts and Guides of France.

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Xavier de Verchère – Christmas, more humble, closer to the Ukrainian people | RCF