Christmas is a feast of life, of universal brotherhood, a feast of the family gathered around one table. More than eating, we share each other’s lives and the generous fruits of our Mother Earth and the culinary art of human hands.
For a moment, we forget the daily chores, the burden of laborious existence, the tensions between family and friends and we become brothers and sisters in joyful commensality. Commensality means eating together around the same table (mensa) as used to be done — all the family gathered together, talked, ate and drank at the table, parents, sons and daughters.
Commensality assumes cooperation and solidarity toward each other. It is what propitiated the leap from animality to humanity. What was true yesterday remains true today. That’s why it grieves us so much to know that millions and millions have nothing to share and are hungry.
On September 21st, 2001, a known atrocity occurred: the planes crashed against the Twin Towers. About three thousand people died in the event. On the same day exactly, 16,400 children under the age of five died of hunger and malnutrition. On the next day and throughout the year, twelve million children were victims of hunger. And no one was or is appalled by this human catastrophe.
On this Christmas of joy and brotherhood, we cannot forget those who Jesus called “the least of my brothers and sisters” (Mt. 25:40) who cannot receive presents or eat anything.
But despite this dejection, let us celebrate and sing, sing and rejoice because we will never be alone. The little boy is named Jesus, Emmanuel which means “God with us”. This little verse that makes us think about our understanding of God, revealed at Christmas, is worthwhile:
Every little boy wants to be a man.
Every man wants to be king.
Every king wants to be God.
Only God wants to be a little boy.
– Excerpts from a Reflection by Leonardo Boff