The video we are presenting in today’s post, #ManontheMoon, offers us a beautiful story that helps us to remember some of the essential attitudes for this Advent Season.
This is the story of a girl named Lily. One night, when she looked at the moon through her telescope, she got found something very surprising: a man is living there. The girl observed how he goes through his daily tasks all alone and decided to send him a Christmas present to show him that someone on Earth is thinking about him.
This beautiful commercial reminds us of something fundamental that we should live in this time of preparation for Christmas: a type of love that is selfless, devoted and concerned for others. This love should not be meant only for those that who know or who are near us, but particularly for the people who are distant or who are on the “periphery” of our lives. Here I am not referring so much to the people that live far away and that we have never met, rather those who have been a part of our lives, or perhaps families, but have become more distant over the year.
How many “men on the moon” live around us? It is amazing how little attention we pay (like the girl on the video does with the telescope) to escape our routine and go find these important people in our lives!
It is only when we leave this comfort zone (which is so easy to “justify” at this time of the year) that we can really love. Sustained by Jesus, “who loved us first” (1 Jn 4, 19), we realize that our charity can reach the most unsuspected places, even the most distanced hearts. As mentioned in the video: “This Christmas, show someone that they are loved.” Sometimes only a gesture, a small act of kindness or a short prayer are enough.
Tangible love is so important to achieve world peace! As Pope Francis said it on his recent visit to a refugee camp in Bangui, Central African Republic:
“We need to work and pray and do everything for peace. But peace without love, friendship, tolerance, and forgiveness is impossible.”
When our actions are moved by the Holy Spirit, with a genuine concern about others and the firm desire to let God act in our hearts, they can have great effects: we become authors of peace. If we leave indifference aside, and commit to the people on the “periphery” of our lives, we become agents of love.
Some practical elements that will help us in this time of Advent:
1. Focus our “telescope:” In one part of the video we see that Lily focuses her sight in order to see the man on the moon more accurately. We need to put extra effort in our own lives to stop staring only at ourselves and see reality from a deeper perspective. This is the only way we can realize what the people around us are going through.
2. See God’s reflection in others: The girl in the video notices the presence of the man on the moon through a reflection that she sees as she points the telescope towards the man’s house. In order to find the people that need us, we must be able to see God’s reflection, present in the eyes of others.
3. Persevere when facing adversity: We see that Lily incessantly tries to send messages to the man on the moon, but distance prevents her from doing so. When faced with this situation, she finds a creative solution. In our lives it can become very difficult to help those in need, and we come up with many excuses: time, distance, or even barriers created by the other person. It is important to “think outside the box” to overcome every obstacle and allow ourselves to love.
4. Provide the means for the encounter: Lily sends a very special gift to the man on the moon, a gift that allows him to experience an encounter despite the distance. It is important to create those moments of encounter, not just for the other person, but for us as well so that we are not doing it just to simply try to feel good.
5. The active wait: Lily is a very active girl, she does not stop looking for the man on the moon and when he finally receives her gift, she is very happy because she has been hoping for it with all her might. That is how our Advent should be: waiting for the Lord to be born in our hearts, but at the same time reaching out to find him in others, through prayer and in our daily lives. He is also waiting for us.
Special thanks to Adriana Saman, who helped to translate the post and for Jennifer Wade, who reviewed the text!