The True Meaning of Christmas
As the year draws to an end, it is timely to reflect on all that has been. With gratitude, we give thanks for every good thing that we have received. We are grateful for the many opportunities we have had to learn, flourish, and grow. We are thankful for the support of family, friends and teachers who journeyed with us through good and challenging times. Every year, the days leading up to Christmas take on a whole new level of wonderful, yet hectic activity. With so much pressure and preparation that goes into making a perfect Christmas, it is paramount to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT OTHERS
The shops are currently filled with all the commercial trappings of Christmas. From the jingle of carols to the Christmas lights and special buys, we can lose sight of the significance of this Christian feast day. Do the familiar Christmas carol and heavily decorated Christmas tree serve as a reminder of what this season is about? Or are we so consumed with buying our gifts, our hams, and special treats that we overlook those who are not as lucky as we are? The true meaning of Christmas is more than serving ourselves. Instead, it is about looking for ways to make sure we think of those not as lucky as we are.
CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT GIVING THANKS
Christmas is a time for thanking God for giving us his son Jesus. Jesus is our king, and we are thankful to Him for sharing his Kingdom with us. But what type of a King is Jesus, who was born for us on Christmas Day? Jesus was not like earthly kings. He was not born in a castle with a golden robe or a crown of jewels. Instead, He came to us in a stable, surrounded by the sound and smell of animals. Born into a poor and humble family, it was the modest shepherds who first witnessed this joyous event and gave Him praise. Into this earthly poverty, heaven’s glory was revealed, and for this great gift, we thank our creator.
HOW TO PERPARE FOR CHRISTMAS
Throughout His ministry, Jesus related with the marginalised, the poor, the sick and the outcast. He gave us a perfect example of the Kingdom he visualised for all. A kingdom where everyone is included, especially those who are rejected and abandoned. As Christians, it is our God-given responsibility, especially at Christmas time, to safeguard those on the fringes of society. Thus, as we buy our Christmas gifts, and stock our pantries with special treats, let us spare a thought for those who have nothing and no one.
PRACTICAL WORKS OF FAITH
In Perth alone, there are more than 35,000 people in real need who will reach out to many welfare agencies this Christmas. These include young families unable to provide sufficient food for the family or to pay electricity bills. The elderly unable to afford basic needs or prescribed medications. Many who are already struggling are falling even further into crisis. Pope Francis reminds us that generosity towards the poor has its most powerful motivation in the example of Jesus, who chose to become poor. At Christmas, what really matters is that we ‘roll up our sleeves’ and reach out in a practical way to those who have little to nothing.
Santa Maria College is bringing some joy to those who are suffering by generously donating Christmas goodies to the St Vincent Society, the Archbishop’s Shopfront and St Patrick’s Community care. At our final College Mass today, more than 300 red bags, packed with donated goods, were presented to the three agencies for distribution to the needy. Hopefully, our donations will make a difference to many doing it tough and bring joy to needy families this Christmas.
Be a Gift for Others
Remember, when we give to the least of our brothers and sisters, we give to Christ!
Let’s not get too caught up in the materialistic side of Christmas. Rather, let’s focus on the deeper meaning of this special day by being a ‘present’ for others.
Have a Happy and Holy Christmas!
Jilly Landers| Director of Mission