A woman said to me recently, “I never felt embraced by the Catholic church.” So, I walked over and hugged her. “Now you have been.” I said, and we both laughed. Here is the thing we need to think as our Holy days are now upon us: Are we first embracing God so that we might be able to embrace those around us?
Christmas is here. Our Advent complete in one small baby that carried all the Glory of God has arrived. If we claim to be his followers, if we claim the sacrifice He would ultimately make as being the road of our salvation, if we claim the baptism, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit….then we have some gifts to give this Christmas that can’t be bought at Macy’s or Sharper Image. If we claim these things, then much is expected of us because much has been given us. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 and Luke:12: 48)
We are the Body of Christ. We are all given gifts and talents but not for our vain glory or to be hoarded like a miser, but to give to the people around us that God may be glorified in all things and ways. That my dear friends and family, is the spirit of Christmas that you’ve been driving yourself mad trying to ready for. Spoiler alert, you didn’t need to drive yourself mad if you have God first in your life and family. He has already given us more than what we need. And yet, if we aren’t letting that flow out to the rest of the people of the world, the ones who are hurt, in pain, lonely…we are no better than white washed tombs.
Love your enemies as yourself.
Reach out into the world and be the light of God for someone now, and the rest of the seasons.
Give the gift of God’s love and when it is “returned” it will bear fruit, real fruit, eternal fruit, that will never spoil.
Be the love you need in Church and in the world. You are His hands and feet in the darkness.
Merry Christmas and know that God loves you and so do I. The people of Champaign County Catholics wish you all a loved and Holy holiday.
Here I am, Lord, send me!
Lisa Lee Brandel, Kolbe Evangelization Commission Chair.