Presence rather than presents

Presence rather than presents


This year is my fourth Christmas as a priest and I was so blessed to visit the Holy place where Jesus was born. Bethlehem is a walled city. Outside the wall is a large community of Jewish people and they don’t believe in Christmas. From before and until now, many people rejected Jesus, the greatest gift of God. God is in our midst but we live as if there is no God. Many were indifferent and refused to believe the truth about God. People replace the most wonderful season of the year with unnecessary earthly stuff. Friends, Jesus is the reason for this season. He is the Emmanuel. Remember that! Thus, let me share three points with you folks.

First, life is SHORT. Our earthly journey is done in just a blink of an eye. Jesus was born today but He only lived for 33 years. If you have been alive for more than 33 years, consider it a blessing. The Bible says: “the life span if a man is 70, 80 for those who are strong.” (Psalm 90:10.) We are not sure how many more Christmases we have left in our life. Friends, life is a one-time offer. Live life to your fullest. Stop worrying so much. Life is like ice cream. Enjoy it before it melts. Have fun. Be a blessing and develop a good relationship with God. They say life is B to D. From birth to death. Between B and D is C and that stands for Choice. Our life is a matter of choice. We are the product of our choices. Choose well. Live well and you will never go wrong. Folks, our goal in life is not to live long but to live well. Make the rest of your life meaningful.

Second, the first Christmas was very SIMPLE. We do not need fancy and worthless things in our life. Do not demand for more. Be satisfied with what you have. To all young people, do not be sad or get jealous of others if what you’ve received is not fancy or expensive compared to what others have. Take note, Jesus did not have toys during His time. He only had His parents. What I am trying to get at is: “The best gift are not material things.” Presents are great but love is better. Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we subsitute “presents” for presence. This Christmas, spoil your loved ones with something that cannot be bought, like hugs, compliments, time, etc. Lord, all I need this Christmas is YOU.

How to have a meaningful Christmas?
1.​Love the giver more than the gifts.
​2.​Let your performance be louder than the applause.
​3.​Make your contribution bigger than the rewards.

Finally, the birth of Jesus reminds us that we have a God who SAVES. God was born to save us. Folks, never replace God with other false saviours. Never trade Jesus with some pirated versions of happiness. God is irreplaceable. St. Athanasius of Alexandria once said: “God became man so that man might be like Him.” Live a godly life my dear friends. Make your day today, better than yesterday. Inspire before you expire. Wishing you guys a grace-filled, blessed Christmas and a healthy prosperous New Year.

Blessings,
Fr. Jhack

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