Jesus seeks the 'I need' over the 'I want' of our heart.
For Christmas is the season of gift giving, reflecting the Gift Giving Love of God. Santa is the symbol of Christmas Love in the lover giving what the beloved truly desires. In a simplistic manner, Santa is the cute, clean, and child-friendly image of the Divine Gift Giver who gave of Himself, upon His Cross, the gift of our salvation.
So, imagining that Santa wasn't watching, what three gifts would Jesus sneak into Santa's bag?
"Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb…The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea." Isaiah 11:1-10
The first gift Jesus would slip inside Santa's gift bag would be the gift of reconciliation. Specifically, it would be reconciliation between our monster and our sweetness. After all, when Jesus took flesh in the Incarnation (Christmas), He changed the human person forever. No longer would the monstrosity of our past, pin us down in perpetual sin, since Mercy prevailed through the renewed humanity of the obedient Christ on His Cross. Monsters no longer dominate, if we choose. Rather, the sweetness of humility, through repentance and conversion, in the Blood of the Lamb, overcomes the accusations of Satan, and the temptations of the Beast.
But the monster isn't attacking us solely from the outside; it is also the monster within us that the Christmas Jesus reconciles in His Precious Blood. As fallen children of Eve (and Adam), we love to love the very things that kill us. Jesus suffered all things human to include temptation--though He never succumbed to sin! Now, our temptations, our twisted desires, our fallen cravings no longer have to control us as the monsters of vice are now revealed as lesser goods in the perennial human search for the Ultimate Good in the Love of Jesus. Now, when seeking Love, we do not have to settle for lust.
Jesus reconciles our desire for the good with the Ultimate Good in Himself.
"Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more." Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
The second gift that Jesus would slip inside Santa's gift bag would be the gift of Justice and Mercy. When baby Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in the cave in Bethlehem, Immanuel--God with us--immersed the world with the Justice and Mercy of God. Christmas seems all about Mercy, but how can God be Merciful if He isn't all about Justice? (For many people, Justice seems so harsh, and unmerciful, a term). When the Church teaches that God has a 'preferential option for the poor' it is all about Mercy. But Mercy for the poor is all about Justice.
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich requires both peanut butter and jelly; without one, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich we lack.
"Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, 'I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike." Luke 10:21-24
Jesus' third, and final, gift, snuck into Santa's bag, is the simple Christmas truth. Himself! Christmas is the gift of the babe in the manger, born of a Virgin, Savior of the world. Think about it. Simplicity, in child like faith, is both required, and rewarded, by the Simple, yet unfathomable Truth--REVEALED--in the Trinity of Persons so in Love that Love became a baby to snatch us into the fire of this Love.
Christmas is faith and Revelation in so simple a story, and so simple a Love, that only the pure, the simple, the repentant, and the faithful can perceive, and receive, such an awesome gift.
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