READ : John 1:10-13
Christmas is a time to give. We usually do so, very generously, not only to family and friends, but also to the poor, the homeless, the prisoners. But Christmas is first and foremost a time for receiving. “To all who received him, who believed on his name, he gave power to become children of God” (v. 12).
God’s greatest joy is sharing: His love, His life, His heaven. Even the angels in heaven rejoice when someone turns to receive what God offers (see Luke 15:10).
When we accept a gift we accept the love of the person who gave that gift. If we reject a gift, we reject love. The greatest insult at Christmas is not a failure to give, but a refusal to receive.
We become children of God not by going to church, or by providing a Christmas dinner for the poor, or by living a good life, or by embracing a certain theology, or by sharing the sacraments. We become children of God by receiving Christ.
May this Advent and Christmas season be a time of giving, to be sure. But may it be first of all a time for receiving all that God is offering you in His gift of Jesus Christ.
Help us, Lord, during this season of Advent and Christmas, not only to be generous and cheerful givers, but also to be grateful and loving receivers. Amen.