Matter of Faith: Preparing for Christmas


(12/9/2019)

From: Mary Zimmerman
Winona

Christmas is in the air. Trees are lit, wreaths are hung, lights are shining, but I don’t see the crib; after all, isn’t it Jesus’ birthday? Isn’t it really Jesus that Christmas is all about? Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season. We should be made aware of and follow His will, of this time period we call advent; a time before the big event we are about to celebrate we call Christmas. We draw names to exchange gifts. We shower our children with the materialistic part of Christmas. Even more important, we need to teach them to prepare a gift for Jesus. What does Jesus want? He wants our hearts full of love for Him and our neighbor. “Love God and your neighbor as yourself.” Sometimes that seems hard to do, most especially if we are burdened down with sin. What does Jesus say about that? Give me your sins, oh mankind, and I will drown them in the ocean of my mercy. How special is that? And it goes even farther; God can work good out of all things.

If you didn’t grasp Thanksgiving with a grateful heart, if it didn’t go beyond turkey and the trimmings, than chances are Christmas won’t go beyond a materialistic advent, so you’ll miss the real meaning of Christmas. And what is the real meaning? Jesus came to die on a cross for our sins, so we could go to Heaven. That is in a nutshell, Jesus died that we might live. It is so important we get the message. Imagine how Jesus feels for those who don’t, He wishes all to be saved. Can you imagine sitting in Hell forever? Jesus gave the divine mercy devotion, so filled with grace for our time. Jesus tells us through Saint Faustina, “I am giving you three ways of experiencing mercy toward your neighbor. The first — by deed; the second — by word; the third — by prayer. In these degrees is contained the fullness of mercy and is an unquestionable proof of love for me.”

However dark our times may seem, we are not to live in despair, but through hope, trust, and prayer we can expect to arrive at our destination of happiness in the joy of Heaven. Let us entertain such thoughts as we remember into advent and, soon, Christmas. I guess at my age I can wonder how many Christmases do I have left! Well, only God knows that. We should all live as if this will be our last Christmas, so let us prepare in like manner. Then, one day, we can say “I’m spending Christmas with Jesus this year.” Merry Christmas, dear readers.

 

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