A time to give…a time to receive.
In Japan, the custom when receiving another person’s business card is to take it in both hands and bow to the person giving. It is almost a religious act. There is a lesson here for us in how to receive the gifts we shall receive in the coming weeks. We put plenty of thought, energy, expense and even time in getting and sending our gifts. How much effort do we put into receiving them? Gifts are symbols of our relationship. Gifts received graciously are gifts given more than twice over. And sometimes it takes some effort and ingenuity to receive well. It is possible the gift we receive is not something we want. It is possible that we have doubts about the person’s motive. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have the opportunity to make something rich and precious out of the situation. This takes thoughtfulness, sensitivity and a buoyancy of spirit on our part.
And so it is with God. God is giving to us all the time. If we feel God is remote from our lives, perhaps it is because we haven’t been truly receiving the gifts we are being given. Oh, we get them alright but we have to receive them into our lives into our hearts. If we just turn to God when we are in ‘need’, our relationship with God will be pretty unsatisfactory, as are all relationships just based on need. Actively receiving and being grateful for what we receive both from God and from family and friends can enrich and deepen our relationships and our lives. May this Christmas be glorious for you in giving and receiving and may the presents you give and receive be signs of deep and bonding love.
Loving God, may we find joy giving and receiving gifts this Christmas. As we celebrate the gift of your Son, Jesus, may we become present to each other as we give and receive. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb