December 13th, 2017
Homeless Homes: A short reflection for Christmas
Walking through the colourful streets of London, amidst the hustle and bustle of this great city, I am amazed by the glittering lights, well-lit Christmas trees, crowded trains, buses and malls, and all at once say silently that ‘life in London is ever busy.’ In this busy city, amidst the dazzling lights, as I walk around, I find deep within me a moment of darkness. More than the light, the darkness speaks to me so powerfully, and haunts my heart. Why..? Why is this darkness haunting me during this season of celebrating the eternal light, Jesus Christ himself?
As I go deeper to find the answer, I realize that it is this eternal light telling me something special for this season. Indeed, the continuous disturbance deep within invites me to see not only the glittering lights in the streets of light, but to get down to earth and see the reality. In the freezing cold, wrapping myself up with many woollen clothes, as I walked listening to the voice of that eternal light reverberating within, I found my eyes not amazed by the glittering lights and attractive streets of London, but rather shocked and silenced by those shivering in the freezing cold on the streets.
Every year, we wish our friends and family joy, hope and peace during this season. This year we could perhaps think deeper about what those words mean to us in our world today and how the great gifts of the Christ Child be manifested in the lives of those in need! Indeed, just like Jesus, who was born homeless in a manger, we find many going around the city homeless. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is truly apt to ask ourselves how we can become instruments of joy, hope and peace. Welcoming a refugee, caring for the homeless and sharing with the poor spreads joy, hope and peace in our world. With these acts of mercy, we indeed show our love for Christ himself, who is present in these little ones for he himself has said, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Mt 25: 40). This invitation of Jesus to show our love and care towards those in need comes as a clarion call for all to respond more responsibly.
Responding to homelessness on our streets should begin from our homes. In our world of technology, many homes have become ‘homeless’. Yes, many of us live in a homeless situation in our own homes. We spend huge amount of time on technology and fail to realize that there should be love shared not in a virtual world but more authentically in our families in fruitful conversations, caring for one another and bearing one another’s burdens in times of need. A home where there is no love shared among the members becomes homeless. Only when we are ready to respond to the homelessness in our homes, can we more effectively work towards spreading joy, hope and peace in our humanity.
Very recently, I met a friend of mine, who very often spends her time with the homeless and I asked her what really motivated her to do this. She immediately responded, “It was my family that taught me this!”
This Christmas is an occasion for us to realize the importance of fighting homelessness in our world in our own small ways. “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just” says Pope Francis. Indeed, a little bit of mercy can make a huge difference in the life of the homeless, refugees, and the poor. When we are ready to love our family members, care for them and share our time with them, we will be motivated all the more to respond to the homelessness in our streets.
A heart which radiates the mercy of God is the apt home for the homeless, in whom we can find Him who comes, comes again and ever comes!