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Christmas texts are of a revolutionary and outlawed nature.

Joseph is greater than machismo and accepts his wife. He can’t explain her pregnancy to anybody (if anyone had noticed), yet he accepts the witness of an angel. Even worse, through a dream Joseph is made an outlaw. He breaks out the flames of the dignity revolution.

The Kings from the East arrived "according to the order of Melchizedek" once they had nothing to do to do with Abraham’s genealogy. They followed an inner star, and walking in simplicity they understood what the theologians from Jerusalem only knew as “biblical study”. Those who had the Scripture (scribes) didn’t have the revelation. Those who knew nothing about the Scripture did know enough about the Word through revelation. Some knew the address (“in Bethlehem of Judea…”), but weren’t willing to move as they were tied to the idea that knowing the text carried anyone somewhere. Meanwhile, those Kings from a distant land were in the path and kept going... and they were the ones who arrived where Jesus was. They gave witness about the Gospel’s revolutionary potential for every soul on Earth. That is the supra-religious revolution, according to the order of Melchizedek.

Old Elizabeth gives birth to a child. Her old husband can’t even tell the story, because he remains speechless. That is the revolution of the sterile and the mute. The King of the Hebrews doesn’t have a place to be born! That is the subversion of the powers!

Distracted pastors are visited by legions of angels and they symbolize the men of good will. It is the outlaw of glory! None of the wise men of Jerusalem identified the Everlasting Prince when his parents took Him to the temple for circumcision, except for one old female prophet and one old man without any religious link. The revelation doesn’t know the names of the priests.

That is… beginning with the Incarnation as Christmas (birth), the Word is for those who wouldn’t be expected to understand it. Revelation is almost always an anomaly.

God’s great acts don’t happen in palaces, but in huts and stables. And the most intense voice of Christmas is the virgin’s voice, simple Mary’s voice that thunders the justice of God upon the nations. She is the one who announces the great divine revolution. And she does that with a song.

I dedicate this text to all those who feel far from religion and still carry the guilt of being away.

God is not official. Life is not official. Love is not official. God’s Grace is always revolutionary and outlawed. Judgments are made in an official way, but life bursts from marginality.

Open your heart and follow your guide, like the Magi. Be as generous as Joseph, as courageous as Mary, as fertile as the sterile Elizabeth, as self-confident as the mute Zechariah and as happy as those who are woken up on the fields by the angel’s voice. Be capable of foreseeing salvation as hope, even when you are as old as Simeon and plenty of years as Ana.

In the Scripture’s narratives of Christmas, it is not people who move toward God; it is God who moves toward them.

Christmas happens as an affirmation that in Jesus, God reconciles to humankind. So, don’t feel excluded, because I know that in this season God will send choirs of internal voices, and He will help us to discern the star path. He will make us glad with today’s grace which will be the hope of tomorrow for us and for all human beings.

At Christmas, Jesus is the joy of men!

In Him,


Original Title: Natal dos Marginais
Translation: Guilherme and Kathy Sazonov, New Jersey
Proofreading/correction: WM
(DEC/04); F. R. Castelo Branco (DEC/07)
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