Merry Christmas - Unwrapping God's gift
How God Wrapped His Gift
The first few hours of Dec 24, 2019
This morning when I left for Mass, there was frost outside. Someone (one of the Consecrated who likes to remind me that she does things for me because she loves me… ) had scraped my windshield off and written "Love you, Yvonne" on my window.
Then I went to Mass, and on coming out of Mass, I took a phone call from a woman whom I have been accompanying in a time of turmoil in her marriage. She let me know that her kids were sick and so she had asked her husband to “come back” and help. I started to reflect on how weakness and misery have a way of inviting others to greater openness, love and self-giving. I said a silent prayer of gratitude.
Next stop was the Dollar General to pick up inexpensive thank you cards so as to save money but to also give expression to the gratitude in my heart for so many people who have been helping me and my community of Consecrated Women this year. In the store, as I was checking out, the lady said she couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over because “it was so expensive.” I made a comment about how “surely it must be worth it” anyway on my way out.
Reaching the third floor of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, where we currently reside, I decided to tackle the wrapping of the one gift I was going to give for Christmas. Given we make a vow of poverty, there isn’t much gift giving among us, but we do get to give a gift (under $25) to the person whose name we draw.
Needless to say, gift giving isn’t one of my main love languages so this is a challenge for me every year. However, with some help, I did find something I thought she would appreciate that might be practical, or might not be, given her personality. I put it in a box, and then chose the wrapping paper… There were several types of wrapping paper on the table in our hallway and I saw one that had glitter/sparkles on it. I knew this was the wrapping paper to use, although I hate how messy glitter is. Given the glitter, I didn’t want to wrap it in my room, so I went out onto the landing at the top of the steps to wrap it. And there I spent 20 minutes wrestling with the wrapping paper and tape (that didn’t stick very well because of the glitter.) It ended up being a “patchwork” job, and I was thoroughly frustrated at the end. I went and stuck the gift under the tree, and then joined my community for a gospel reflection.
The gospel reflection consisted of reading the different accounts of the annunciation and birth of Jesus, and then sharing what each one of us gleaned from the reading. The one who began said that this was to be a “Mary” Christmas. That set the stage. To be honest, I zoned out completely during the reading, trying to figure out why I was still frustrated from wrapping the gift… I so wanted it to be beautiful and felt like I had failed. Then it hit me: What God had gone through to wrap the greatest gift – the gift of His Son!! God had seen fit to send his gift, His Son, in our Lady. And It’s only in “unwrapping” her (getting to know her and what the preparation meant), that I could discover the gift of Jesus and appreciate all God went through on giving this gift.
I don’t think I will ever forget my “wrapping” experience. My prayer for you and your family this Christmas is that you might enjoy unwrapping the gift God has given you, discovering who Jesus and Mary really are, and how they want to be a part of your life and to be shared with others this Christmas.
on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 at 9:10AM