The Season of Gifts

12-22-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Emmanuel Ihemedu

It is said that great gifts come in small packages. On Christmas Eve, underneath the Christmas Trees in many of our homes are gifts wrapped beautifully with Christmas colors. Unfortunately, some of these gifts will be returned to the stores right after Christmas because these gifts may not be our sizes; they may not fit; they are not our favorite colors; or simply because we don't like them.

Of all these gifts, there is one in particular, that once we open it, will render us speechless and bring tears to our eyes because of the so much love put in the gift. It is the smallest package ever, yet in it is the gift of God himself. St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians calls it the indescribable gift! (2COR 9:15), a gift that no word can express! This very gift we cannot return to Walmart, CVS, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, JCPenney, etc. This is because this gift is personal. It is practical. It is permanent/forever.

Jeremiah the prophet says that God knew us before we were born (JEREMIAH 1:5). And the psalmist says, "Lord, you know me when I sit and when I rise" (PSALM 139). This means that God knows every detail of our lives. He knows our likes and our dislikes. He knows our sizes and cannot go wrong in picking out a gift for us. His gift will have the magic of personal touch. It can be disappointing to receive a gift that is bereft of personal touch. This gift will render us speechless because it is practical. It is true that Santa can provide us with what Santa thinks we deserve but God gives us what we don't deserve. This gift brings forgiveness. The Scripture says that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (ROMANS 6:23).

Finally, this gift is permanent. It should bring us to emotions because we are keeping it forever. The Bible says in JOHN 5:24, "I assure you; those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life." We have this awesome gift because God knows we live in a fallen world and as a result, we run the risk of not spending eternity with him.

What gift have we received at Christmas from our fellow human beings that lasts forever? None. But this one will have no end. God loves us so much that He is giving us a gift of himself in His son Jesus Christ so that we might live forever (JOHN 3:16). Even when this infant Jesus dies, this gift will continue, for Jesus will rise and become a Life-Giving Spirit and by sharing that spirit with us, you and I can live forever beginning from now, not just when we die and go to heaven. This is awesome. I am excited!

I can't wait to unwrap my gift. May God surprise you with the awesome gift of Himself, Amen!

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Father Emmanuel