Christmas is a time to welcome Christ into our life and the world. Advent is upon us once again and in a just a few weeks Christmas will be with us again. In preparation for Christmas, everyone of us will be turning our minds to Christmas presents for our friends and loved ones. This, no doubt, has been part of our life experience each year as we approach Christmas.
A few years ago, I visited a big shopping centre in Sydney to purchase Christmas presents for my nephews and nieces, and as I walked from one end of the shopping centre to the other, I could not help but notice a charity stall in the middle of the shopping centre. There were a few people with a donation bucket, each trying to get people to donate to this charity to assist children in third world countries. There were many shoppers with bags of gifts in their hands. However, they would pass the charity stall with a blink of an eye. They were happy to purchase goods for their family and friends but would find it difficult to donate $2 towards charity. As we prepare for Christmas this year, all of us will receive the best present ever from God and we do not have to pay a dollar for it. This present is Christ Jesus.
The birth of Christ is God’s love to each and every one of us. All of us will receive this same gift equally without paying for it. However, it would be good for us to return a gift to Jesus. Hence, when we go to a shop to purchase Christmas presents for our friends and family members, let us also buy a gift for Jesus. That is, buy a poor person a gift also and donate this to those in need and those on the fringes of our society. It is the best preparation to welcome Christ into our life and our world this coming Christmas. May God’s gift continue to strengthen us and our loved ones with Peace, Love and Joy this coming Christmas.
Fr Quyen Vu SJ