Dec 19 2016

The gift of Christmas is to be Jesus for others

An image of a Guatemalan couple kneeling to pray.
Throughout the Advent/Christmas season, our weekly ePrayers include a special series of reflections on the upcoming Sunday readings. This reflection for Christmas Day is from Unbound Preacher Relations Liaison Father Timothy Coday, C.P.P.S.

We have spent the last four weeks of Advent in preparation for Jesus to be born anew to, and in, us. In today’s Gospel, St. John says of Jesus, “and without him nothing can be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness.”

We need Jesus, our hope and our light. If we are in a large dark room and can’t find a way out, a sense of hopelessness can set in. Advent preparation moves us to a deeper, more personal relationship with Jesus. We can better sense his presence in our lives, which brings hope. We see the light in the darkness of our lives. There can be a relief to the despair that might have come from a loss or illness or the daily struggles of life.

In the Gospel reading for Christmas Day, St. John says that those who believe in Jesus have been given the “power to become children of God.” This happens through baptism, when we are given a candle lit from the Easter candle. We are given the light of Jesus and are called to share that light. How can we do that?

Poverty can be like the large dark room. The constant struggle to acquire the necessities of life like water, food, clothing, health care and education can lead to despair. Seeing no way out can lead to hopelessness.

Through the one-to-one sponsorship of Unbound, we can be the light. We can be the ray of hope.

For sponsored persons, being able to rely on the monthly benefits of sponsorship brings relief. For sponsors, accompanying a sponsored friend on their journey out of poverty brings the light of hope into the life of another person.

This is what the angels announced: Peace to the world and goodwill to all!

The gift of Jesus at Christmas is a light to the world and the source of true peace. The gift of Christmas is to be Jesus for others. This is the first and greatest form of gift-giving. Imagine if we all would prepare well during Advent and celebrate Christmas with a renewed commitment to share this gift with others.

Truly the angels’ message would be our message also. Peace to the world and goodwill to all!

Please pray

Heavenly Father, God of mercy and love, you sent your son to reveal your love for us and to be a light to lead us to you through the darkness. Grant, we pray, grace to believe in Jesus, become your daughters and sons, and be Jesus to others. Grant us ability to be promoters of peace and goodwill to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.