Fr. Francis Scaria
Fr. Josef Mohr, an Austrian Priest, wrote the Christmas song “Stille Nacht” in 1818. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber and at the Christmas eve 1818 it was sung for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf near Salzburg, Austria. The song was translated into English “Silent Night” by John Freeman Young, an Episcopal Priest in New York in 1858. From then onwards “Silent Night” is all about Christmas in popular mind.
The silent night of Bethlehem has the greatest story to tell the world, the humanity. In the silence of the outskirts of Bethlehem a Saviour was born to the whole world. In that silent night of deep darkness the world saw a great light which did not disturb the silence of the night while it attempted to replace the darkness of the world with the light of Christ, the source itself of light. A child was born. Like every other child, as he was born he cried for the happiness of all humanity. This cry was one that assured the world that God was carefully listening to every human cry and he has sent his Son to wipe away tears of everyone who suffered. The divine story which began in that silent night came to its climax in another silent night about three decades later.
The hands which touched many sick people and held them tight with compassion now had holes on them created by the nails that fixed him to the tree of redemption. His whole body was lacerated with wounds, deep wounds overlapping even on his face. No one ever witnessed such cruelty in human history.
Yet he who could by his word calm the sea, turn six barrels of water into wine, multiply five loaves to feed five thousand, call a man dead for four days back into life again, was silent all through. The Word of God records it. The evangelist recalls the words of the prophet Isaiah about him. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Is 53:7) This silence was not inflicted upon, but observed voluntarily. Umpteen are the instances when human beings are ill-treated, side-lined and deprived of a humane treatment in our violent society. Very often the victims cannot even speak; they have been silenced. Our tribal and less privileged brothers and sisters have a story of silence to tell us. While their lips were silent, their eyes were staring at the belligerent world seeking a Good Samaritan. Their hearts sobbingly desired that someone would speak up for them who had been silenced. Jesus is the representative of such a silently suffering humanity.
MUSINGS : 1-25,