Christmas is a season of gifts – and giving gifts is an important part of our celebration. Gifts are a way of telling others that we love and care for them. Christmas started with a gift. It was God who started it – “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
I am sure by now we would have decorated our homes with Christmas lights and ornaments, and purchased gifts for those who are dear to us. While waiting for Christmas, I hope you are not overwhelmed by Christmas parties, baking and cooking, buying gifts, and making sure you don’t forget to send Christmas greetings.
We live in a world that is so fixated by schedules and agendas. We sometimes forget the simple gesture of appreciating one another by being kind to the people we meet everyday. At times, our conversations and actions, perhaps even our jokes, have become unkind and cynical – be it at home, at work or even at church. We forget to say a kind or helpful word to our parents, spouse, children, siblings and friends. We seem to be unable to make eye contact or even smile. We are unwilling to make another person feel better. St Paul says, “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you,” (Eph 4:9).
In today’s world, the use of harmful or bad words has become common. We hear it every where. How could the use of harmful or foul words be used so casually? When you utter them, you can never take them back. The unkind things we communicate can spoil the best of relationships. Is it possible to tell ourselves not to use them? Can we remind ourselves that every time we misuse the gift of speech, it affects the other person in a negative way. When we speak harmful or vulgar words, we then fail to respect others. We should avoid saying anything that degrades or condemns another person. Harsh and hurtful words can leave scars for many years. They can leave us feeling empty, betrayed and lost.
There are so many people in need at Christmas time – people wanting love, needing comfort, assurance, a little company and a little friendship. Perhaps there is someone we have not forgiven. Or whose forgiveness we must seek. Our hearts are full of many gifts we can give – love, kindness, peace, joy, patience, forgiveness, etc., (Gal 5:21).
Don’t forget Jesus this Christmas for He is the reason for the season. Let us start each and every day as if it were Christmas and celebrate the joy, peace, happiness and goodwill with everyone in our lives. Let us make every day like Christmas and live the spirit in our hearts at every moment. Just remember the gift of Jesus in our lives, and thank Him because He is the best gift that we could ever receive. God reaches out to us in peace and we should start each day with joy, peace and happiness as we reach out to one another. Our gift to God is to bring God’s gift of Christmas – Jesus, to everyone.
As we rejoice and celebrate this wonderful season of Christmas, let us thank baby Jesus for coming into our lives and let us prepare ourselves to welcome Him into the homes of our hearts.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy