We’re exhausted. It’s been a very wasteless month. There has been excessive violence, too much destruction. People are starting to crunch. Trolls all over the place, fun around the corner. Speakers. Smack. Those of us who celebrate the changes to come, we long for peace to return because we are getting in the way and the country can get out of hand.
Christmas: Christians will sing “night of peace, night of love”. The last few weeks everywhere we have heard Victor Jara: “The right to live in peace”. But will there be peace on the night of the 25th? Will there be peace for the winter of 2020?
The Christmas celebration doesn’t guarantee anything. Jesus himself complicates things. If one contemplates the manger, one should remember that from there came the man who, at some point, in an untimely way, said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have come not to bring peace but the sword” (Mt 34). Jesus was conflicted. He was killed by bad people, yes, but he provoked them. Jesus’ proclamation of God’s infinite mercy was intolerable to the administrators of the Temple. The child of the manger was an unbearable Jesus. If this is not taken into account, the peace we will invoke this Christmas will be fatuous.
What can we do to achieve lasting peace, one that encourages us during 2020? What can be done to make these other words of the Risen Christ prevail in us: “Peace be with you” (Jn 20:21)?
I found a graffiti that left me thinking, “Kill your inner paco.” Cities are full of violent expressions against carabinieri, fair and unfair phrases, sentences that many policemen do not deserve, but let’s put this issue aside.
This sentence “Kill your inner paco” has spiritual merit. Yes, spiritual: it makes the evil that nests in one’s own heart look; the evil that kills because it kills us. Graffiti is a call to spiritual combat. On the one hand, it invites us to triumph over the fear of those who violate us. There are pacifisms that are, in fact, pure cowardice. Irenismos. On the other hand, it asks us to recognize that we too can be violent. Any human being carries a “paco” inside, an internal enemy, an abuser who punishes others because he punishes us first. I believe that these two triumphs within our souls are paths bound to true peace. Not only killing in the heart of hate, spite and violence is a victory; so is overcoming the fears that prevent us from fighting for justice.
This Christmas Christians, and anyone who wants to join, have the opportunity to accumulate peace for a 2020 that can also be violent. It occurs to me that in front of the manger we can do two spiritual exercises. One, focus on the damage that the harmful ones have suffered. People affected by a country accustomed to cultural and social violence should be remembered. Christ crucified somehow represents them all. Another spiritual exercise may be to ask the born child, for example, to give us the greatness of to tolerate that in the next April plebiscite he will gain the opinion contrary to ours. Will we be, from now on, able to withstand this possibility? Will we practice the democracy of the heart, the inner source of political democracy? Before this, will we be able to understand, for example, that there are Mapuche people who are not going to vote?
The peace of the risen be with you.