A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loudly lamenting:
it was Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted
Joseph was told to take Mary and the child and go into Egypt. Mary a young woman, now with a baby, had to again upsticks and go on a long journey to an unknown place. It was not that long ago that she undertook the arduous journey in her late days of pregnancy. Joseph, a man who was meant to provide a stable home for his wife and child, was once more faced with change, unpredictability and danger. One could say travellers, refugees, migrants all their lives, even to Jesus’s final journey to Jerusalem, to his death.
When we look at the life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph we notice that change was a constant element in their life’s journey. Since medieval times up to the age of rationalism we have been influenced by the notion of a static Universe. There was a certain immutability in life in spite of the evidence of the changing seasons in the Northern hemisphere.
As a result we also lived out of a theology of immutability, unchanging God and universe. Today the quantum physicists and the insights of the new cosmology highlight the constant change and fluctuation in all things and events. However, we humans like to hold on to stability, control and keeping things as they were always!
Down through the ages, since the beginning of time there has been migration of peoples, migrations due to shortage of food, lack of shelter, climatic changes and wars. Has the universe an inner impulse that causes shifts in the population ? Unfortunately and drastically the present migration of peoples is accompanied by horrific violence on the part of mankind. The level of violence and cruelty against children, women, men and the earth is at a most frightening and heart-breaking stage
It seems as if the political will wants to stamp out all diversity of peoples, cultures and religions. Without diversity we cannot have unity – “Glory be to God for dappled things….”
More than ever in these rapidly changing times we need the message of Christmas “Peace on Earth to all of Goodwill”.
Sr. Helen Mary Harmey OP, Congregation Prioress