The Season of Giving

Sunday, December 20th 2020 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Where has this Advent gone as well as the whole year.  I cannot believe that there are only five more days until the celebration of Christmas.  While we have the chance, let us live these last days of Advent with commitment and enthusiasm.

We have seen a shift in the readings at Mass.  For the first three weeks of Advent, the readings at Mass focused on the coming of the Messiah or Christ at the end of our life or the end of time.  Since the 17th of December, our Mass readings focus on the birth of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago in the little town of Bethlehem.  We read in this Sunday’s Gospel passage the wonderful words of the Blessed Mother’s “fiat,” or her “yes” to God’s plan for herself and for us.  “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” These are among the most beloved words in any of the Gospels.  But these sentences are also important for any Christian disciple.  In all our daily affairs we are encouraged to say yes to God’s invitation to do his will.  Our yes is because we are the Lord’s faithful servant in our homes and families, in our workplace, and in our communities.

After Mary’s fiat, we read, “Then the angel departed from her.” Our Blessed Mother was left with a lot of unexplained details about God’s plan for her! Yet, she followed God’s will perfectly. She gave herself and her life fully to God as a gift.  She was the first and the best Christian disciple.  Today, we are called to model ourselves after her example by our own words and action.

This time of the year has been described by the commercial world as the “season of giving.”  The gifts we give are a sign and symbol of the love and affection we feel for the recipient of our gifts.  This Christmas let us resolve to make our whole life a Christmas gift to the only ONE who has given us everything we have.  God has truly blessed our lives and promises to give us all the help and strength we need today and in the coming New Year.