Christmas (The Nativity of Our Lord) • If God left a gift for you, what would it be: A toy? A job for daddy? The answers to a test? Courage? A cure for cancer? Socks? We open the box and we find: Baby Jesus!

God heard all of your prayers and he sent you the best possible gift. We might think that courage, a cure for cancer, or even socks are a better gift that the Christ Child. But this gift answers the deepest desires of the human heart. Perhaps God didn't cure grandpa's cancer, but he will be with you and with grandpa. God gives us the gift of Emmanuel, himself with us.

Did you get a gift for the birthday boy? How often we leave Jesus out of our family time, our daily lives, our Sunday plans, even our Christmas plans! The good news is that baby Jesus doesn't need a toy, or socks, or a cure for cancer. Jesus has everything but YOU. The best gift God gives us is himself; the best gift you can give God is yourself.

You are a gift! We read the genealogy today to remind us that every one of us matters. Every link in the chain was important; if there had been no Zerubbabel, there would have been no Christmas. You give Jesus the gift of yourself when you pray, when you say Grace before meals, when you love others, and when you come to Church on Sunday, and when he gives himself to you in Communion. So this Christmas, give Jesus the one thing he is longing for: To God From Me, with love.

(24 Dec 2021)

Going Deeper: When you come forward at Mass, you don't just receive Communion, but you are invited to enter into Communion with God. This is what your Amen means when the priest or minister says, "The Body of Christ." You enter into Communion when you receive the gift that is Jesus, and give him the gift that is you. Today, and each time you are at Mass, ask yourself, "Am I ready, willing, and able to receive Jesus, and to give myself totally to him?" If not, then I should wait. The whole world waited for Jesus, because he was a gift worth waiting for. Jesus sees you as a gift worth waiting for. He will wait until you are ready.

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