GLIMPSE OF GOD FOR THE WEEK OF December 3, 2023
“THE GREATEST AND PERFECT GIFT”
As we begin our Advent journey, I would like to pause and reflect on “gift”. I believe that the gift of our faith is the most important and precious gift that we can ever receive, yet if we take it for granted, walk away from it, deny it, or even abuse it, although it remains a gift, it doesn’t maintain its significance in our life that the giver intended. As with many things, we can place our faith on a shelf, knowing that it is in reach if we need it, we can put it in a closet and close the door so that it is easier to ignore, or we can toss it aside out of anger, yet since God is the Giver of the gift of our faith and we are His greatest creation, His beloved children, His vessel, the gift will never be taken back, or denied to us. God wants us to be our best self, the person that He created us to be and have the potential to become and He knows that we cannot do that alone, we need Him and each other. We need our spouses, our children, our extended family, our neighborhood community, our religious community members, our Church, to grow and reflect the presence of our Gift giver, which is God. As followers of the newborn child Jesus, the Messiah, our Savior, we all have been given the gift of faith so that we can grow in love with Him and serve Him with an undivided heart.
As we begin Advent and journey to Christmas, let us reflect on how we take the gift of our faith: take it for granted, take it lightly, take it seriously, and seek to be transformed so that we can grow in aa greater appreciation and love for the Giver which is God. I hope that this reflection is helpful on your advent journey with Mary as you unite your YES to hers. In your FIAT to our Lord, may you experience a deeper peace within, a greater desire and willingness to surrender, and the gift of joy that comes from Mary as you recognize and grow in love for her Son Jesus, Others and Yourself
What is in a gift? How do we open a gift? Do we open the gift slowly or tear it open?
Do we honor the gift giver? and the gift?
Do we silently cherish, hold, and look intently at the gift? or do we put aside the gift, paying no attention to the work, the love and care that went into presenting the gift?
When we receive a gift, we often look at the wrapping and then we tear it off, as if we only want to see what is inside; is it what we asked for? what we wanted? what we need? or just a token gift?
Then there are times when we open a gift with great thought and very slowly.
As we receive Jesus into our hearts in the Holy Eucharist,
do we use the time prior to encountering Jesus in the Holy Eucharist to prepare our hearts for the King?
or do we go through the motions just to fulfill our Sunday obligation?
Going through the motions, is like tearing off the paper, we miss the gift, the giver,
and the reason for the gift. The gift is Jesus and eternal life with Him
the Giver is God the Father who loved us so much that He sent His only Son
into the world to redeem us, the reason for the gift: UNCONDITONAL, SELFLESS AND PERFECT LOVE.
When we take time to pray, when we take time to see Jesus in and through our lives, it is like one who slowly unwraps the gift, we see, appreciate, and honor each moment of the encounter between God and our self. When we receive a gift in a gift bag, we tend to pull the gift out of the bag and then we look at it and choose to honor or reject it. Do we pull Jesus out of our "gift bag" when we need Him, or are angry at Him and need to blame someone, or when we feel abandoned, and life seems out of control?
Or are we in a relationship with Him one that recognizes that He loves us and will never abandon us?
Do we see that God, and His unconditional love for us never changes?
whether we wrap Him up or put Him in gift bag.
God is the Gift Giver and Jesus is the gift whether we honor the gift, ignore the gift,
put the gift away or in hiding, whether we respect the gift or not we are always living out of our human limitations. God on the other hand, is not limited.
His mercy, His love, His compassion, are eternal, everlasting and all embracing.
Jesus is the greatest gift given to us, but do we realize, can we imagine, that we are God's gift to others?
Do we know that He loves us and has created us to live in union with Him on this earth and as we do that,
we are gifting others with a glimpse of His presence, by how we love and care for others?
Each time you give a gift to another, you are giving a part of yourself,
the part that loves, cares, and appreciates another.
You are giving someone else the gift of God as He is revealed through you and seen in you.
As we journey towards that beautiful day where Mary’s Yes came to fulfillment
and our salvation was at hand, to the Holy Birth, that which was without sin,
let us thank Mary for saying YES and allowing God to dwell within her,
let us thank God for saying YES when He chose to use you and me to be His instruments in His world,
that HE wants us to do His work, that HE believes in us and knows our potential.
Let us thank Jesus for coming into our world, our life, and our hearts and for making us one with Him;
in and through our baptism into His passion, death, and resurrection.
Let us thank each other for being the gift of God's presence a Glimpse of God, to us in and through their prayers, works, words and example.
During this Advent season, as we prepare to receive the Baby Jesus into our hearts,
let us pray to be open to recognize that Jesus is the greatest gift given to humankind,
and that we have been chosen by God to receive Him.
YES. YOU AND I have been chosen by God to receive the gift of His Son Jesus into our lives forever.
As recipients, do we ever say thank you to God
for loving us and presenting us with such a great and awesome gift?
Let us thank God now, later, tomorrow, next week,
each and every day and may we never grow weary of being a gift giver
or a recipient because both are avenues to encounter God and His great love for us. ……….
Have a happy Advent journey!