For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; Isaiah 9:6

You could not fail to have noticed the number of advertisements on tv shouting at you to buy the best gifts for your loved ones at Christmas. When we think about giving, perhaps we should think more about how we give of ourselves. How can we be present, not just give presents?

We can be present by being present, being mindful and attentive to that one person in front of you or that one job needing to be done. We can be present by truly listening to. We can be present by simply being and consciously avoiding the business the world calls us to.

Advent – A time to reflect on God’s love

We reflect on the gift of God’s unconditional and everlasting love. Advent is a time for us to reflect on this great gift of God’s love, to reflect that this great love gives us hope and that hope is Emmanuel, God with us, at all times, in all places. Acknowledging that God and his unconditional love is with us at all times and in all places, is a joyful meditation. We reflect on how we might love God in return, in the midst of our every day life. We relate to an everyday God. This everyday God who became incarnate in the person and being of Jesus, to live an everyday life in an ordinary village community. This God who gave himself to us in the form of a vulnerable child. We reflect on our own vulnerability and wonder at our capacity to trust in God’s unconditional love – the love that will sustain us at our most vulnerable times.

Pope Francis tells us that the Eucharist is the gift of God for the life of the world. The pope encourages us to adore the Eucharist as the most Holy Trinity’s free gift for the life of the world. He tells us to become the Eucharist for all, like the Lord. The vocation of each one of us is to be the bread shared for the life of the world, after the example of Jesus. Advent is a time for us to reflect on how we can be Eucharist to others. How can we be Christ present to others in our everyday life and relationships?

Theologian, Scott Hahn advises us “Set aside five minutes each morning or evening and take a few deep breaths. When you are settled, start jotting down whatever comes to your mind that you are grateful for. With a heart full of gratitude, everything else in our lives will change.“ Allow this Advent to be a time of reflection for you, a time of gratitude for the gifts you are and the gifts you are given.

The greatest gift you can give anyone is the gift of your true self, the self you are called to be, meant to be. St Catherine of Siena tells us, ”Be you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Reflect on the following poem and remember that people are the true gifts of the season. As you are reading, consider when

  • you are a gift to others
  • you are a gift to family
  • you are gift to your community

Persons Are Gifts ………………………. wrapped !

Some are wrapped beautifully:
they are very attractive when I first see them.
Some come in ordinary wrapping paper.
Others have been mishandled in the mail.
Once in a while there is a special delivery !
Some persons are gifts which are very loosely wrapped, not sealed.
Others are tightly wrapped, practically locked, enigmas really, almost forbidding.

But the wrapping is not the gift !
It is easy to make this mistake …
It’s very amusing when babies do it.

I am a person …
Therefore I am a gift too.
A gift to myself first of all–God gave me to me !

Have I ever really looked inside the wrapping ?
Perhaps I’ve never accepted the gift that I am?
Could it be that there is something else inside than what I think ?
Could God’s gift be anything but good ?
Maybe it needs polishing–to bring out its value, it’s natural lustre !
Maybe it’s unique–hasn’t found its essential worth ?

And I am a gift to other persons!
Am I willing to be given to others? A person for others?
Do others have to be content with the wrappings?
Never permitted to enjoy the true me?

Every meeting of persons is an exchange of gifts.
But a gift without a giver is not a gift ..
It is a thing devoid of relationship to giver or receiver.

Friendship is a relationship between persons who see themselves
as they truly are: both gifts of GOD ..
to each other .. for others .. truly related to each other.
A friend is a gift, not just for me, but to others through me.
When I keep my friend–possess him–I destroy his “giftness.”
If I save his life for me, I lose it;
If I lose it for others, I save it !

Persons are gifts,
gifts received and gifts given–God’s BEST GIFTS on Earth!

Receive and Give the Gift WITH EYES WIDE OPEN and rejoice!

Author unknown found at http://www.appleseeds.org/Persons-Are-Gifts.htm

 

FURTHER READING

GIFT GIVING

https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/the-power-of-gift-giving-without-the-waste?

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/89961/whats-difference-between-gift-and-present

https://johnmichaelhelms.com/you-are-a-gift/

https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-offer-gifts-that-transform-relationships-and-accelerate-personal-growth-9e645a5d31c8

https://info.montroseschool.org/blog/giving-gratitude-to-those-who-make-space-for-us?

 

Anne Armstrong
Religious Coordinator

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