English: Nativity scene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Growing up, I loved gazing at the nativity scene my mom would set up under the Christmas tree. My mind would imagine how special that holy night would have been for Mary and Joseph and those lucky shepherds who responded to the angels. The Son of God born in a stable in Bethlehem. What a gift to mankind!
I was watching “Mother Angelica Classics” on EWTN the other night. Mother brought back those memories for me as she asked the question, “what are you giving Christ for Christmas?”. You would think that since Jesus is the reason for the season, He would be foremost on everyone’s mind during this advent season. Unfortunately, I believe there is very little thought given to Jesus this time of year, and even less on what to give Him for Christmas. People are so busy buying, wrapping, planning, partying….
Jesus told Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Ga, “My children do not realize what I do for them. My children do not understand that I am truly alive…My children do not look for Me. My children do not think of Me. My children do not speak about Me. My children do not live for Me, with Me, and in Me. Where are you little ones? You are scattered. You are lost. I am the Great Shepherd and I have come for you. Why do you hide? Why do you speak in secrecy? Do you not know I see all things? I know all things. I am Jesus. I am the living Jesus. The Father is in Me and I am in My Father. I am Jesus, Son of the Living God.”
He was the lamb of God; the Great Sacrifice, who gave Himself over to His Father’s will for our salvation. He is now our Great Shepherd, calling us, leading us to follow Him and His Father’s will. Christmas is a time for all mankind to pay homage to this great mystery of God’s incarnation and give back in Jesus’ name.
There are always signs of hope. I watched a news report today of someone going around leaving huge tips to waiters and waitresses all in the name of Jesus. The church I attend is giving extra confession times this advent and I hear there are long lines of people asking Jesus for forgiveness. And over the weekend I lit the advent wreath at home with my two grandchildren as they sang “Silent Night” and my four-year-old grandson recited the “Blessing before Meals” when I asked for a prayer.
What can we give Jesus for Christmas? He only wants our heart. His heart was given to us before time. We need only give Him our heart and He will fill them with gifts of peace, grace, and love.
There is no greater graces then those obtained at Holy Mass. Please, go sit with Jesus and in the silence of your heart, you will hear Him. Don’t be one of those Christians who attend mass at Christmas time only; go often. He is your Shepherd. Give Him your heart, your time, and your love. Let Him lead you to His Father.
First Letter of Peter 1:17 “You call him Father, when you pray to God, who judges all people by the same standard according to what each one has done, so then, spend the rest of your lives here on earth in reverence of Him. For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors, it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw.”
What will you give Christ this Christmas?