Homily: Dec 25, 2013

A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF CHRISTMAS 2013  –  CYCLE “A” MIDNIGHT  –   SMG

+ Pax et Bonum!  Peace and Goodness to you on this Christmas!

Some of the things that have obviously been on our minds these last several weeks, are presents.  We have been shopping maniacs!  It is the Season of Giving, as everyone has been reminding us in their ads and commercials.  And most likely, in one form or another, all of us have tried to find just the right gift for our loved ones.  It’s not easy.  But have you ever lost a gift?  It’s a terrible thing.

One Christmas, when I was growing up, my little brother’s godparents had sent him a gift in the mail.  Now this present arrived several weeks before Christmas.  So my Mom, did what she did with all of the gifts, she hid it.  Out of sight, out of mind, Christmas came, and my Mother forgot all about my little brother’s present.  Even when my other brothers and I were opening our gifts from our godparents, nobody thought about where my little brother’s present was.  It was at his birthday party, in July, that my Mom remembered the gift.  It was probably because he had received a birthday present from his godparents also.  That birthday, my little brother opened up several gifts, but only one gift was wrapped in reindeer gift- wrapping.  The gift was a little ceramic statue of the Nativity scene, that you could wind up and it played “Silent Night”.  We’ve got a picture of my little brother in his swimsuit, holding the little musical Nativity scene.  You talk about Christmas in July!

You’re not supposed to lose presents.  Presents are meant to be given and received, and opened up and enjoyed.  That’s the way that it is supposed to work.  We all know that as we come here especially today!  Hopefully, the gifts that we bought for others this Christmas, will be used!

We also know that today, we celebrate God’s greatest gift to His people: the Gift of His Son in the Incarnation.  God’s gift came wrapped in swaddling clothing.  The Gospel doesn’t say anything about a bow or bows.  But this Gift from God was a living, breathing Savior, that would, if we allow Him to, save us from our sins and lead us safely home to Heaven.  This is the greatest Gift that we will ever receive.  It is because of God’s incredible Gift, that we give gifts to one another on this day every year.  It is because we don’t want to forget.  We don’t want to ever lose sight of this Present.  We want and need to treasure this Gift, all year long!  And yet how many of us who come here to celebrate Jesus’ Birthday today, will put Jesus on a shelf, or hang Him in the back of our closet, or leave Him wrapped up in some drawer?  This gift from God was meant to be used.  In fact, the more you use Jesus, the more real and more present He is going to be to you!  You use Jesus, and you’re never going to run out!  He will just be with you more and more every day.

But this Christmas, we’ve all got to unwrap this Gift from God.  And we need to get to know Him, and try Him on, and use Him!  He can’t be like some old present that we forget about until next Christmas.  God wants to be part of your life right now, right here, no matter what’s going on in your life.  He can make it better.  He can give you peace.  He can help you see clearly what way, what direction, to go!

You gotta use this Gift, though.  Don’t walk out of here today and let that be the extent of experience of God’s greatest Gift to you for this year.  Jesus doesn’t just want to be part of your life on Christmas.  He wants to be part of your life every, single day!  Give this Gift a chance.  I think you will see amazing things, the more that you do!  Of all the gifts you receive this Christmas, make sure that you don’t lose this One!

From all of us here at St. Maria Goretti,  Father Travis, myself, Deacon Steve, our seminarians, our Parish and School staffs, Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!  May all of us allow the Christ-Child to reign in our hearts and to illumine our lives!

+ God bless us this Christmas,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                                  AMEN !!!

+  St. Maria Goretti…                      Pray for us !!!