by Fr Duncan McVicar on 19/12/2011 -
This is the time of year when we all begin to think about what we are going to get. After all, “Tis the Season”. To balance that we are also reminded at this time of year that “it is better to give than to receive”. But we must first learn to be givers. One way to learn is by example. To learn to be givers we should look at the Giver of all things; God. Not just God the Father though, but God in all three persons of the Blessed Trinity.
First of all, Christmas is about the Father’s Gift. The most important gift God gave us the precious gift of life. To each and every one of us He gave a special and unique gift of our own life. We are the one species in all of creation who are capable of appreciating the amazing fact that we are alive. God gives us this gift freely and without reservation. We can choose to honour Him for the gift of life we have been given, or we can choose to ignore God’s part in our life. And whether or not we honour God, he still loves us completely.
Then, Christmas is about the Gift of Jesus. God gave us His only begotten Son. And that gift wasn’t the gift of a ruler or leader in the political sense, but the gift of God with us, a humble teacher and redeemer that changed the lives of everyone who came after him. This best gift, Jesus, showed us how we can all learn to love His Father, by giving to others. He gave all he had, even his life for us. In everything Jesus did, his entire earthly ministry is based upon giving to others. Nothing he did was for himself. From Jesus we learn to give without thinking about the cost, or expecting anything in return.
And finally, Christmas is about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, before he left His earthly ministry offered us the gift of the Holy Spirit. This gift is God working in our lives. The Holy Spirit offers us gifts and fruits which help us to appreciate and enjoy the gift of life given to us by our father. How many of us could live a full happy life without wisdom, or joy, or patience, or goodness, or self control? The Holy Spirit’s gifts are freely given, ongoing and never ending, we can call upon them whenever we feel the need to use them. From the Holy Spirit we can learn to give of ourselves.
We can learn that more precious to someone than that perfect sweater, might be the gift of our time, and our concern for their lives and their struggles. Remember, it is not what is under the Christmas Tree can is important, it is the people standing around it!
So what is the best way for us to commemorate the greatest giver of all during this season of giving? By giving each other the latest CD or video game? Or by giving ourselves to others? This year try to think of one thing that you can do that will truly help others. Give of your whole self.
Don’t just give your money, but give time, and resources. Give all with a joyful heart, asking nothing in return. May the coming Christ Child fill our Parish Family with all with his love, peace and blessing!