This Christmas, Holy Bethlehem is Silent in the Night, in memory of the suffering Children of Gaza…..

Bethlehem Christmas
The figures of a Christmas installation amid rubble surrounded by razor wire are unveiled outside the Church of the Nativity, in support of Gaza, on Manger Square in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, December 23. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

And thus spake He – “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Here’s wishing you all on this sombre Christmas day. Today, Bethlehem, His very birthplace has fallen silent, with no Christmas tree in the town square, as Palestinian Christians mourn the deaths of their Palestinian brethren.

But today, let’s ponder over the message of the man, who has been central to the evolution of human history. 

Jesus Christ was born a refugee, as Herod had ordered the death of the first born across Palestine. The story is similar to the more than 10,000 children who have been murdered by Zionist Apartheid Israel in the ongoing Holocaust in Gaza…. and counting….

Thus, to find a safe abode for the Holy Child, both Mother Mary and Joseph had to immigrate and seek refuge in Egypt. Once again, reminiscent of the millions of ordinary people seeking refuge from wars and poverty.

Jesus Christ was essentially a reformer, a revolutionary, a freedom fighter, as he challenged the Colonial Occupation of Palestine by Imperial Rome. Another message for our times……

Jesus challenged the power of the Jewish Clergy, and transformed a tribalised supremacist faith of the so-called self-proclaimed Chosen People, into a religion wherein Jesus affirmed that – We are All the Children of God, We are All Equal!

We must also mention the role of Jesus Christ in elevating the status of women in religion and in society. Thus, Mary Magdalene, who was a philosopher and an intellectual in her own right too must be remembered for her myriad contributions.

Jesus thus universalised and democratised the concept of God, thus sowing the seeds of spiritual democracy, and preached the values of mercy, grace, justice forgiveness, love, and peace.

It’s in keeping with the spirit of these Christian teachings, that this Christmas is spent in prayer and introspection, in thinking about the thousands of children under the rubble of destroyed houses, hospitals, schools, with no food, water, medicines or electricity, in thinking about Baby Jesus under the Rubble…..

I’ll end with these very inspiring verses, verses that give hope to the spirit and the soul in these very difficult times for the world.

New Testament Bible

Matthew 5:3-12

3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Let’s heed His words, listen to the cries of the children of Gaza, of all of the Holy Land of Palestine.

Feroze Mithiborwala Founder, India Palestine Solidarity Forum 

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