THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD Solemnity
Catholic Gallery wishes you and your Family a Very Happy Christmas!
Matthew 1: 18-25, Luke 2: 1-14, Luke 2:15-20, John 1:1-5, 9-14
Christmas is also about gifting. Arguably this is that time of the year when most gifts are exchanged, and fittingly so. Because Christmas is the celebration of Heaven gifting earth its most precious asset, the Word of God, so, it is apt that we celebrate Christmas by exchanging precious gifts with one another.
Before starting, it is important to have a list and an idea of what you will gift. Who shall be the first one on your list?
‘You’ are the most important person in your life; start gifting yourself a wonderful gift. Self-gifting is not a narcist idea, provided you know it well. It is your first and foremost responsibility to take care of yourself well. Hence, gift yourself with the best.
Gift yourself with Jesus! Gift yourself with His love and mercy, because you deserve them; because He wants you to avail them without measure. Because no one else can make you whole. Because you are the reason of the Word of God to incarnate and be the Emmanuel – God with us. Because Mary and Joseph, the holiest couple ever to set foot on earth, wish you have Jesus. Gift yourself with Jesus just not today but every day.
Reading a couple of chapters of the Word of God, the Bible, every day is one of the best ways of gifting yourself with Jesus. Spending quality time with Jesus in prayer is another way of doing it. Making a good confession is a way of gifting yourself with His mercy. Probably you know more ways of gifting yourself with Jesus.
Then gift your family something wonderful, something they cannot do away with. The family includes your parents, spouse, children, siblings, and extended family members. They deserve the best gift you can afford.
Gift them with Jesus! Gift them with a better you! Let your words and deeds reflect Jesus. When you become the carrier of His love, forgiveness, compassion, encouragement, and care: you are gifting them with Jesus. When you find time to pray with them and read the Bible with them, you are gifting them Jesus. When you encourage and accompany your dear ones for sacraments and to the Church you are gifting them Jesus. And the little gifts you give in colorful wrappings symbolize the best gift to humanity that was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger 2000 years ago.
Don’t forget your friends and colleagues, they make you complete. If you miss them, you are not grateful enough. Gift them generously.
When was the last time you told your friends and colleagues about Jesus? We live in a world where it is not politically correct to speak of Jesus and whatever Jesus stood for. If you are negligent or afraid to share Jesus with your friends and colleagues it is time to stop calling yourself a Christian. Start gifting them with plenty of His words and deeds. Celebrate Christmas with them gifting them Jesus!
Finally, gift the strangers who are in need of your help. Should you shut yourself against them, Heaven shall shut itself against you (Mt 25:31-46). The poor, the sick, the hungry, the abandoned, the homeless, and so on shall not be missed from your list; because they can in turn gift you with keys to heaven.
Start gifting them with the mercy and concern of Jesus. When you are being generous with them, you are gifting them the generous God. Wrap your gifts with your best smile and present them. Thank God for making you a carrier of his love and concern. Christmas is about God gifting Himself to us so generously.
Yes, Christmas is all about gifting. God gifted His beloved son to us. It is the reason for celebration. Joseph and Mary received the heavenly gift with gratitude and shared that gift with the poor shepherds and the wise men who came in search of the heavenly gift. When the time was ripe, it was the turn of the apostles and disciples to receive the heavenly gift. He offered himself a sacrifice on the cross, gifting forgiveness and salvation to humanity. The apostles and disciples continued distributing the salvation that is Jesus, caring little about their lives. They were so consumed with the gift they received that nothing could stop them from distributing it to humanity; neither sword, famine, nor hunger, nor coldness would prevent them from distributing the heavenly gift.
Today, it is your turn to be in the chain. Keep gifting yourself and others, Jesus. Happy Christmas.