Since the world didnâ€™t explode, many of us celebrated the most recognized holiday in human history, Christmas. We toiled over lists, waited in long shopping lines, and exchanged both gifts and pleasantries.Â I am certain that holiday cheer abounded, and many still bask in the afterglow of the season.
If it was to have been the end of the world, this probably wasnâ€™t the worst way to go. Maybe the Earth didnâ€™t explode or get vaporized by an on-coming comet; although maybe, as T.S. Eliot wrote, the world for some did end this month, â€œnot with a bangâ€¦ but a whimper.â€
Weâ€™ve experienced a terrible tragedy this Christmas season, reminiscent of Herodâ€™s assault on the children of Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus; a horror described by the prophet Jeremiah as â€œa weeping that refuses all comfort.â€ I will resist any kind of temptation to make sense of our current tragedy in Newtown because if such an event can appear in the first Christmasâ€”at the very birthplace of the Messiahâ€” then I see no reason to believe we are going to be immune to suffering.