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Give thanks to God for the ultimate gift of Jesus

I really love this time of year. I love the cooler weather. I love having some days off to spend with my family. I love the smell of the Christmas Tree. I love doing morning prayer by the light of that Christmas tree. I love the Advent hymns that we have been singing. I love watching Christmas movies (yes, we start a bit early!) I love pondering what kind of gift or gifts I want to get for people I love. I love the smell from the kitchen as my wife starts cooking for Christmas days in advance to make sure all is ready. I love looking at the stockings hanging on the mantel. I look at the five stockings of my children and my wife’s and realize how incredibly blessed I am.
All of this is good. God delights in our appreciation of His gifts to us. But let’s not lose sight of the greatest blessing. We were alienated from God because of our sin. We had nothing to offer that would achieve reconciliation with God. Only God had enough to offer, but if He offered it then justice would not be served. So (to steal a phrase from Archbishop Rodi) God paid a debt that He didn’t owe, because man owed a debt that he couldn’t pay. And this payment is made by a man, so justice is served. This is precisely why Jesus had to take on a human nature.
This truth is a refreshing as a cool snap after a long summer. It is as joyful as having free time with family. It is more beautiful that the smell and the lights on the Christmas tree. This is the greatest gift that we celebrate at Christmas.
It is so easy to forget this truth because of the goodness and beauty of the things God created that we enjoy, but I encourage you to give thanks daily during the Christmas Season to thank God for the ultimate gift of Jesus.
May you and your loved ones have a blessed Christmas (which is just beginning.) May God console those who are missing loved ones or find heightened family conflict at this time.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life Email him at parensberg@mobarch.org
For more information concerning the events of this office, visit us at mobilefaithformation.org

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