A HOMILY FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF CHRISTMAS – CYCLE “B” – 12/25/14 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this Christmas!
One of the many Advent commercials on TV that we have been treated to, many times over the last few weeks, was for Wal-Mart. Have you seen those Wal-Mart TV commercials this year? And these commercials featured that white actress and the African-American actor, that for some reason, they seem to assume that we all know, that were their spokespeople, throughout this Advent. And in this one, particular commercial, the guy is challenging the girl to wrap several different unusual gifts. There’s a wireless speaker, that she rolls up in paper like a tootsie roll, and ties up at both ends. There another gift that she just simply puts in a gift bag. And finally, there’s a big kitchen mixer, that she just slaps a bow on, and they both laugh about it. It’s a cute commercial. But the commercial did make me think about how difficult some presents are to wrap. Have you ever not bought a present for someone, because it was just going to be too hard to wrap? I didn’t think so. Me, either. So I tried to come up with a list of presents that would be most difficult to wrap: Number one, would have to be a puppy, or pretty much any living animal. How do you wrap something up that has to breathe, and eat, and go to the bathroom? Not an easy task! I’d also think high on the list would be a canoe or kayak. If you bought someone that you love a canoe or kayak, you’d be better to hide it somewhere and then let them open up directions on where to find the canoe or kayak. There’s no way to wrap something like that. A bicycle would also fall into that category. And then even more difficult than a canoe or a bicycle, how do you wrap a car? Now, first of all, who gives a car for a Christmas present? Unless you’re a rock star or play in the NBA, most of us will never have to worry about wrapping up a car for Christmas. But we love those Lexus commercials, where they wake up on Christmas morning, and run outside, and there’s a brand, new Lexus in the driveway, and how’s it wrapped up? They have those gigantic, huge red bows on top, right? Guess what? I called Lexus the other day, just to ask them how I might get one of those big, red bows. And they can get them for you, for $129.99! So I asked, if the bow came free when you buy a car. Because even Cracker Barrel will gift wrap things for you that you buy at their store. Nope, the bow still costs $129.99. Amazing, isn’t it? Fifty or sixty thousand dollars for a new car and they don’t even throw in the big bow. And that’s why nobody on my list is getting a new Lexus’ this year for Christmas.
You may wonder, where is he going with this? I have no idea. No, just kidding. Hang with me here. You may have noticed in our Gospel story tonight, that at that first Christmas present, Jesus, when God sent His only Son to earth, did you notice that Jesus came wrapped. Well, He didn’t come wrapped, but after He got here, Mary wrapped Him in SWADDLING clothes. You know, we read this, we hear this, every year. Have you ever wondered what swaddling clothes are? Well, this year, I looked it up. According to the dictionary, SWADDLING clothes are strips or bands of cloth that are wrapped tightly around a newborn baby, to bind or restrict them. This is done to keep the child warm. So God, sends His Son into the world, the God who rules the entire universe, Who can do what He wants and go where He wants, and we tie Him up and bind Him tightly in bandages. Do you see the act of humility here? This time God is NOT a pillar of fire, or a booming voice, or an earthquake. This time, God is a baby! And He comes perfectly gift wrapped in clothes like most of us wore when we were born.
God’s coming down from Heaven is the ultimate act of humility. Today, this day, on this Feast, this Holy Day, God invites us to humbly let His Son into our hearts and into our lives. God has gone to some incredible extremes to give us this gift! What a same it would be for us to waste this gift and not take advantage of what God has done for us! Now, we must humbly acknowledge what our God has done for us. He is not far away. He is not too immense to understand. He became One of us for a reason!
This year, unwrap Jesus in your life! Unbind Him! Untie Him! Let Jesus take you places that you can’t begin to imagine as we sit here tonight. He will, but you’ve got to give Him the opportunity! God has given all of us the greatest gift that we will ever receive! There’s no big bow. Just swaddling clothes!
And a gift that lasts forever!
From all of us here at St. Maria Goretti… Merry Christmas!!! God bless you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!! St. Maria Goretti … Pray for us !!!