Christmas 2020: Jesus the Hope that does not disappoint

Médard Aboue, M.I.

In December 2019, we saw the problem of Corona virus far away from us, and we hoped that it would remain confined to Wuhan in China, because it was quickly defeated. We were still feeling reassured by institutional statements that the virus could never cross our borders, but in February 2020, we were surprised to learn that the virus had taken up residence in our home.

In a short time, the bomb that exploded in Codogno (North Italy) knocked down all our certainties, and suddenly, our beautiful country was found hit hard by this virus. City after city, country after country, COVID-19 spread throughout the world, and even today the whole planet continues to grapple with this very insidious pandemic.

We all found ourselves unprepared. Fear has rightly taken over our lives; anger for the numerous innocent victims is gripping us; the Decrees of the Government (DPCM), lockdowns, and so on keep us in a climate of uncertainty and precariousness. The socio-economic crisis triggered by the health emergency has broken down the very few existing and resistant banks of our welfare and quiet life. Our existing scientific certainties have proved fragile in the face of questions about the origins of this virus and about the therapies to defeat it. Everything is a continuum of not very comforting situations. And everyone wonders: When will we see the light at the end of this long tunnel?

In fact, despite the avalanche of slogans of mobilization and of encouragement, despite our combativeness, the Pandemic has done nothing but invade more and more of our existence. Easter, Easter Monday, Liberation Day, Labour Day, Republic Day, Assumption Day, All Saints’ Day, Immaculate Conception… important feast days that mark our liturgical and social journey, took place this year under the dictatorship of the Pandemic and its rigid rules. Even Christmas, our beautiful and special Feast of the Dies natalis of Jesus, a feast of joy, of hope, of conviviality, of families, of children, of gifts, even the feast of St. Stephen, New Year’s Day, etc. will not be an exception; indeed, the rules of social distancing are and will be the harshest ever adopted. Nothing lacks to make the year 2020 terribly unforgettable.

But, we are not giving up on defeat. We are fighting to come out victorious. The heroics of health personnel are no longer to be remembered; the mobilization of researchers is under everyone’s eyes; the tenacity of workers in essential services, the determination of volunteers of every type and rank, the constant prayer of faith communities, and the commitment of rulers, leaders, and ordinary people are like an unprecedented general mobilization of everyone against this terrible and fearsome Pandemic. In short, this war against the enemy virus must be won. There will be fatigue, there will be victims, there will be wounds difficult to heal, but humanity will win. Everyone must continue to do their part without ever giving in to discouragement and despair. On the other hand, there are signs of hope. We just need to have courage and patience.