Sunday, December 11, 2016
Among the billions of gifts that will be exchanged this Christmas, there are popular his and hers gifts such as towel sets, jewelry and sweaters. But the most important gifts do not involve cash, credit cards or gift cards. The couple who prays, plays and works together is a couple that exchanges gifts of love, forgiveness, encouragement, companionship and understanding. As noted in the Gospel of Luke, today we can also receive his and hers Christmas gifts from the Blessed Virgin and the Blessed Savior.
Mary’s Gift Of Consent. When the Angel Gabriel told Mary of being blessed to carry Jesus as a virgin, she in turn poured out a blessing to God, giving her consent to be used for His purpose. The gift of consent is further illustrated in the marriage vows, with the bride and groom mutually giving their consent to the union. We can take these models to give the blessing of our consent to God to use us for His glory.
Mary’s Gift Of Consecration. The Consecrated Virgin gave birth to the Consecrated Son. Therefore, Christmas is not merely about family, it is about faith and family. There has to be the consecration of family to the Lord. Without faith, the family becomes disfigured and distorted until it eventually disintegrates. This is seen in Russia and former Soviet satellites over the last 75 years of Communist-dictated atheism, with alcoholism, abortion on demand and divorce resulting in a negative birth rate. Western countries and the USA have similar negative growth among their native populations with their population declines are masked by immigration. Only by consecrating the family and all its members to God brings the blessings of wholesome family life, growth and stability to society.
The Gift Of Promise. The Bible proclaims “Behold the Virgin”, “Behold the Lamb”, “Behold your King”, and “Behold, I am alive forever more.” Those proclamations were promises, fulfilled in time according to God’s design. We have the added gifts of promise: promises of hope, joy, forgiveness and eternal life.