There’s a somber feeling in our heart as we removed Christmas trees, decors, multi colored lights, nativity sets and other Christmas furnishings from their settings all over the place after the seemingly endless celebration of the Holy season of Christmas. In the church calendar, the season of Christmas liturgically ends on the feast of our Lord’s Baptism which falls on January 9, 2017, Monday, this year. But many pull down the curtain of the season on the feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings.
Somehow there’ still the residue of the revelry in our hearts punctuating a nostalgic feeling of the most wonderful day of year. And not to let loose the spirit of the season some would endearingly assert that every day is Christmas. Oh yes, but imagine the enormous cost of giving Christmas gifts and throwing Christmas parties every day, others would conjure?
But the point of reference here is not so much the material outlay that accompanies the celebration but the “spirit” behind it. Our continuous love and joy in giving and receiving, our concern for the less fortunate and under-privileged, our care for the un-loved and neglected, our compassion and mercy for the weak and helpless, our forgiveness for offenses and hurt, our prayer for unity and peace, and many more down the road of our everyday life is the crux of the matter. Cease-fire among warring nations, peoples and relationships should not only take effect on Christmas but every day.
Why should we give gifts to the poor and needy, be joyful and inspired, get excited and insightful only during Christmas? Actually the spirit of Christmas should be vital to live an authentic Christian life. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ who came among us and sanctified us. It is Christ who gives meaning and purpose in our life. It is Christ who guides us in our dark paths and confused direction. It is Christ who leads us to find Him like that Star that directed the Magi from the East to His birthplace in Bethlehem.
Like the spirit of the Magi, let us offer to the Lord our friendship with Him, didn’t Jesus call us His friends? “I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father”. (Jn. 15:15). Let’s give the Lord our true love and devotion as tokens of our friendship with Him. Let us give the Lord our gift of Reconciliation, a kind of gift when done with humility, honesty and sincerity repairs severed relationships and heals wounds of indifference, anger and bitterness. Let us offer to God our gift of peace at the same time imploring for His peace through our fervent and diligent prayer, “for peace in the world and in ourselves.”
Here is part of the lyrics of the song, “A Christmas Carol” by Christina Georgina Rosette, a British poet in the 19th century. “What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I could give a Lamb. If I were a wise man, I could do my part. What can I give him? Give him my heart!”