LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
The day after Thanksgiving, traditionally, launches the beginning of the Christmas season. And as we know, not much changes year to year. We’ve been at this a long time. We know when to expect visits from The Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty the Snow Man. We know the point of the Hallmark movies, that are so pure and sweet we can hardly recognize ourselves in the characters. Still we watch them, in a sugar coma, anyway. We know that they canceled the Yule Log, due to ratings. And, we know we probably won’t get what we really wanted for Christmas.
Christmas Eve arrives before we know it or are ready for it, and we find ourselves secretly hoping that one thing in our lives will be different Christmas morning. It’s the kid in us … we just can’t help ourselves. Then that precious dawn awakens the day and for many of us, we’re still the same old actors in same old comedy or worse yet…the same old tragedy. And gifts that cost too much and are too numerous are unwrapped; meals are eaten until bellies are bloated, and friends and family bid farewell, and so it goes…until next year.
Some ask: "What's the point?"
Others say: "Something is missing...."
...And they're both right!
I was thinking about Christmas and how, if you are not a Jesus believer, what’s it all mean? And if you do believe in Jesus: What’s it all mean?
I am here to tell you that if you find yourself worn out 10 days into the Christmas season, if you have lost your enthusiasm for gift giving or haven’t anything to say in your Christmas cards … today is the day to begin to do something different: Shock yourself back into life. Take a chance, don't be afraid, force yourself into being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
What am I suggesting that is that you give until it hurts. Truly give of yourself this Christmas Season, so that you are actually doing without, and see what manifests itself. These 33 days until Christmas often amount to very little if you are unable to focus on the message: Put yourself last, and the last ahead of yourself.
From Luke 21:1-4: Jesus, "looking up, saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; and noticed a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all put in money they could spare, but she in her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”
The message applies to all-- Christians and non-Christians! Ask yourself: Who do I most resemble? The rich people or the poor widow?
Making a sacrifice does more than just help the other guy. Sacrificing yourself, in order to give to another, builds empathy, sympathy and compassion. It makes you feel it. It sensitizes you. By offering that to which you are really attached, that to which you really enjoy, not only helps those in need, but also helps you-- and a hundred times more. It gives you a point of reference. It enables you to realize how so many people actually live. Sacrifice gives you clarity. It makes you real. It opens up the neuro-pathways that enable you to think in a different way. And when your thought processes change, your patterns of behavior change, and ultimately, your life changes. It begins to have a point. It starts to have meaning, for it takes on a new meaning.
This Christmas Season, GIVE! Sacrifice until it changes your life.