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December 21, 2008
God’s Gift to His People
We have all heard the expression, “that person thinks he/she is god’s gift to mankind.” It is an expression that is used in a derogatory manner, insinuating that the person thinks too highly of him/herself. People who are pompous or arrogant or perhaps those who suffer from being a little too narcissistic generally fall into this category. Is there, however, such a thing as a person who is God’s gift to man(human)kind.
This week we celebrate the feast of the Incarnation. This beautiful feast of love celebrates the event that brought God to live among His people. He did this by giving us the gift of his son, Jesus. Jesus then is truly god’s gift to humankind. But then, we all know this, don’t we? The fact that Jesus was God’s gift to us is nothing new to any of us. The greatest part of the gift is that it continues to live through the church. We experience God’s presence in many ways especially through the reception of the sacraments.
Is it possible that God had plans to be visible to his people in human form for as long as humanity existed? If we look around us we can see that the answer is absolutely!
If we really understand the gift that God gave us on that first Christmas we know that we, as followers of Jesus, are all meant to be God’s Gift to others. We don’t need to feel larger than life, we simply need to be in touch with our hearts.
Being God’s gift to others is a great privilege. It is not necessarily complex or overwhelming. It is simply a way of living for others. If we are a gift for others, we are aware of their presence, their needs to be listened to, cared about. We need to be aware of their pain and to share our hearts with them. We often label people who do these things a Giving People. The problem with using this expression is that we all too often us it in a manner expressing a personality trait – as if there are people who are born with a tendency to give while other others are doomed as takers–with no chance for redemption.
This past week gave us ample opportunity to live this privilege. With the difficulties that ensued from the ice storm, there were thousands of people who needed to experience God’s presence. We did not necessarily have to share our homes with people in order to be there for them. Very often people simply needed others to listen to their story. They did not want to feel alone in their misery. Be a good listener is a very valuable gift in trying times.
One of the saddest realities is that many people do not see themselves as gifts. They don’t see their ability at being a kind or gentle or sensitive presence as a gift. They often pass up an opportunity because they do not see their own preciousness. How sad this is. Jesus came into the world to bring us the light. Let’s turn it on this Christmas. Let’s take a good long look at the precious person we all are because otherwise many people will be deprived of God’s presence in their lives. As we spend these last few days in preparation for God’s gift to us, perhaps we could spend some time in prayer asking God to help us recognize our own worth. What a beautiful world we would have if we all came to realize that this is our mission on earth, - i.e. to be god’s Gift to Humankind.
Lorette P. Nault