By Fr Joseph Reddy SVD
Every Gift is an expression of love. It thrills everyone who receives it with no exception, as everyone loves to receive gifts.
Christmas is a very exciting time, for adults and children alike. It’s a highlight of the year and part of the excitement is the giving and receiving of Gifts and, of course, before you can give, you need to give a thought about what you will give. As Christmas is around the corner, people get busy in preparations for the celebrations and family reunions; shopping, decorations, preparing eatables, and so on.
Of course, there are prayers and novenas. In all the external preparations, the hustle and bustle of the celebrations, in the giving and receiving of Gifts, very often, it seems that the essence of Christmas is forgotten.
Thinking of the Gift, I am reminded of a video I had watched of a little girl, who was waiting for her Christmas Gift, as her mummy, carefully and delicately packed a very big Gift to surprise little daughter. The Gift was presented to her and, with great excitement she was unwrapping her Gift.
As the mom and the family members were enjoying this sight, Lo and Behold…. She found her Dad in the Gift. Daddy! She screamed with happiness and tears of joy rolled down her cheeks as she clasped her dad. Nothing could have been better Gift than this. Her dad who had been away for long time, due to his job in the army had decided to be with the family for Christmas.
I would like to liken Christmas as a Gift: Jesus is given to us wrapped in tenderness, compassion and love. The Gift that God gave us at Christmas is a Saviour, who by being born in a manger, for us, is born to be Emmanuel, that is God with us. That is the whole point of Christmas.
There may be lots of traditions, customs associated with Christmas.
There may be the giving and receiving of lots of Gifts.
There may be Santas, Christmas parties, and Christmas Day celebrations with friends and relatives but in the end, the only thing that really counts is the Gift we receive from God.
Let us celebrate this Christmas with this awareness and excitement, find our Gift unwrapped in the manger with great love and, joy. During the preparations and celebration let us remind ourselves of this, nothing under the sun can replace our Christmas Gift. What better Gift could we have!
This is the Gift that brings peace.
This is the Gift that saves.
This is the Gift that lasts.