Christmas Message 2017

Picture of Father McGivney

Do you have your Christmas shopping done? As we draw closer to Christmas, shopping for gifts for family and friends is something that becomes a part of life for most of us. There are some people who are so organized that they get their shopping done long before the Christmas season arrives. I married one those people. However, for most of us, shopping doesn't get done until Christmas is upon us.

Then there is the question of what to buy. When a gift is chosen and given to a person, the desire of the giver is to bring blessing to the recipient. This involves choosing a gift that the person has need of and/or would like. Easy to accomplish? Not always - in fact, it is the very reason that shopping may take several hours or days. Then the issue of affordability enters the picture. When the "perfect" gift is found, is it something that you can afford to buy?

But there are suggestions on gifts from Father McGivney that he showed us by example. First, is the gift of forgiveness. There may be people in our lives who have wronged us, said or done hurtful things to us in the past. We may have been approached by someone who is wanting our forgiveness. Or maybe it is someone out there who want you to say sorry and seek forgiveness. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Second, is the gift of encouragement, which can be argued why Father started the Knights of Columbus. We all need encouragement from time to time. We may find ourselves being "down" for a variety of reasons, whether responsibilities at work, family situations we're dealing with, finances, illness or other issues. "...let us encourage one another..."

Third, is the gift of truth, times were hard in Father McGivney's time. We live in a world that is filled with deceptive messages even about Christmas. As the well-worn but ever true phrase states: Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Or Keep Christ in Christmas. Sharing the truth about why Jesus came to this earth as the Son of God is giving to others the gift of truth - the truth about God, the truth about Jesus, the truth about the salvation that God offers to all of us through His One and only Son!!

Fourth, is the gift of love. Jesus came as God's gift of love to every one of us! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." John 3:16. God loves us and He wants to have us share His love with all around us. "Love one another..." (John 13:34). God's love is unconditional and when we give the gift of unconditional love we bring immeasurable blessing to them. We are to be channels of God's love to others.

Obviously, there are many more such gifts that we, as believers, can give to others. These gifts are priceless and will keep on giving blessing upon blessing through the years. At the end of life, these are the gifts that will be remembered more than any others.

As we near Christmas and the end of yet another year, we Knights of Columbus have much to give to others this season... we can be a gift to any parish, to each other with the gift of friendship and to our community. On behalf of the Honoris committee, we wish you the best of the Holiday season, a Merry Christmas and safe and Happy New Year and thank you for your ongoing support.

Vivat Jesus.