It’s still 160 days till Christmas but I am so excited and happy and overjoyed as though it is Christmas now.
The donation drive we coordinated this year was a success. We shipped hundreds of books, toys, shoes, clothes, food and household items to one of the poorest provinces in our country. What a blessing it is to have the nuns and the volunteers at the foundation spearhead such a cause. I am so excited especially for the children that will receive those presents at Christmastime.
I am overwhelmed with the response I got from our donors. I really didn’t expect that they will entrust their donations to someone as suspicious looking as me. Ha-ha! Hurray to the Holy Spirit! I remember praying before sending out my solicitation appeal to friends for God to stir up open hearts with a desire to be an answer to someone else’s prayers. That is why it didn’t feel like I was packing donations when I was preparing those boxes for shipment. It felt like a sense of wonderment at how each answer was orchestrated by the heavens. I was fully aware that none of the donations that were coursed through me were coincidental. I believe they were all especially customized.
My birthdate just so happen to be at Christmas day. But even if it’s not I will still be always excited for Christmas. Every year, always right after the Lenten season, my whole being would automatically shift to the Christmas mood. Every single day I wake up my first thoughts would be on how many days are left before Christmas morning.
I think of Mother Mary. My favorite depiction of her in any art form would always be Mary by the manger. She is the epitome of just about every good virtue. To me, she is also a perfect example for how it is to properly receive heavenly gifts. Before I sealed the donation boxes I laid hands on it and prayed that it will not be used for a purpose other than God’s. I asked for the intercession of Mother Mary, that she help point the receivers to the real giver of the gift. Not only for the gifts that they unwrap. Most especially for the gifts they didn’t pray for.
What is a gift? Would you take the mountain of gold from the Devil or Leprosy from our Lord Jesus? I am confident most people would rather choose the disease. It matters not what it is. What really matters is whom it’s from. The real gift is the giver. And we will always choose great love above all. Suffering does not seem like a blessing on the onset but many will still choose it because even if we don’t know when it ends, we know where it leads… right to where the fountain of great love is.
We should move to an attitude of openness for what God wants for us, when He wants it, and for the purpose He intends. I hope this for myself. That I will be willing to pray “I will accept anything Lord as long as it comes from you.” God answers prayers. Sometimes in ways difficult for us to comprehend . Not because God is trying to be complex, but because we so easily fail at keeping both our hearts and minds open at the same time at the precise moment when it matters. The real gift is not what God can give but who He is.
As long as it is from God we can trust that it is for our own good, that it is motivated by nothing less than the greatest love, and is orchestrated to lead us heavenward. If only we be like the Blessed Mary and profess “be it done unto me according to your word.” God desires to give us all of Him. That’s why we have Christmas. It is when God gave us Himself in His Son. That is not a single day in history. That is every day. That is now. Christmas is always now.