As I cherish the wonderful experiences on the day of love, peace, giving and forgiving, a profound message at the Christmas Mass last mid-night re-enters my mind. This message not only gave me a new perspective to the attitude and behaviour of the Inn keeper, it made me realise that peoples thinking and action can have a higher purpose that we may not understand, and therefore makes us misunderstand them.
We’ve grown up hearing the account that the “inn” in Bethlehem was full, with no “room” available, so Joseph and Mary ended up in a stable, with Jesus Christ born and laid in a manger there. This image has been used to promote the typical Christmas nativity scene for generations.
It is great to have Valentines Day, the same way we have mother’s day, father’s day etc. While many commercial enterprises have used these days to make money, it at least reminds us to express our love to our loved ones, at least once a year.
But why celebrate such important days once a year? Why not every day? Why not make every day Valentines day, Mother day, fathers day and perhaps a few new important days such as reach out to enemy’s day, make up with fallen out friends day, get in touch with old friends day etc.
While Valentines Day is about celebrating love by giving surprises such as gifts & visits and special dinners & cruises it is will be great not only to ‘give’ but also to ‘forgive’. After all, love is for giving and that’s why we should be forgiving.
Forgiving is tough if we hold on to the past hurt and pain. Sometimes it is our ego that won’t allow us to forgive. Holding on to the bitterness only creates negative energy in us as we carry those negative feelings in us. Accepting that we are all human, we are not perfect and we all make mistakes helps us in the forgiving process.
Forgiving helps us to repair relationships and therefore it is beneficial to fostering quality relationships, or closure so that we can rejuvenate relationships or move on with confidence.
When the almighty god always forgives us, why not we take a cue and follow suit.
I had a packed 10 days of work in Dhaka and I was scheduled to take a flight back to Colombo on the 24th morning to be with my family for Christmas Eve onwards. I was looking at options to do confession before Christmas mass. I did not want to leave it to the 24th evening, as there was only a little window from my time of arrival, to get home in the traffic that is likely to be heavy given that large crowds will be on the roads doing their last-minute Christmas shopping.
As I was looking at the Christmas schedule issued at the beautiful church I pray at in Banani – Dhaka, I found that confession was scheduled for 10 am on the 24th. My flight was a t 12.45 and it could take up to 1 hour to get to the airport. It was a risky option to do confession at 10 am and try to get to the airport on time given the unpredictable traffic in Dhaka. I called Father Tom, the Parish priest who kindly agreed to come early to do my confession. It was a peaceful confession and I felt cleansed and peaceful as I walked out of the church.
Finally at the airport I was standing in the line to get my passport stamped at emigration. I had an urge to go to the washroom and I was the next person in line to go to the immigration officer. At that moment a gentleman, who was with his wife and little child asked me if they could go before me as they had just 45 minutes for their flight. Since I still had another 90 mts I agreed to let them go before me. As the family who went to the emigration officer was finishing, an official of the airport escorted 5 persons and went past the line to the emigration officer.