Today’s Gospel: Luke 3:10-18
Third Sunday of Advent
Do you sometimes wonder, like me, how can we make the Gospel come to life for our children?
In today’s Gospel, I believe we can do just that by teaching them the art of giving, of sharing our blessings. How many moms use these weeks leading up to Christmas to clean out their children’s rooms to make space for the incoming Christmas gifts. In our society, preparing for the holiday of Christmas has taken over the Advent season. It is a spiritual mistake to overlook this beautiful preparation time, not for the holiday but for the coming of Christ. We should be preparing to welcome him into our hearts and to celebrate the humble gift his birth is to each and every one of us – and all that means to our lives.
Today, John the Baptist, the one whose mission was to prepare the way of the Lord, is reminding us and truly giving us instructions on how to prepare for Christ. For us and our children, we can use this lesson to prepare for Christ’s coming at Christmas by sharing our second cloak or loaf of bread. We can offer clothes and food for the naked and hungry. We can take part of our budget for gifts and feasts and share that with those in need, certainly, but there is more we can do.
Some of my greatest lessons in life have been learned by participation in the task and not just being told about it. We help our children develop a charitable and compassionate character when we allow them to select for themselves the beloved toy or dress they will bless forward, especially when giving that item away is difficult.
Recently, I was cleaning my daughter Faith’s room with her. Although she loves to organize, the idea that things would be leaving the house was a little bit of a struggle for her. She would sign, “Fine,” when I picked up something she wanted to keep. I smiled, then reminded her how often that thing was played with or used, and how someone else could be blessed with this toy, book, or dress. The funny thing is the more she gave away the more she wanted to give. The excitement in her face as she looked at her clean room and the box full of blessings was priceless. Come 10 years from now I bet she’ll remember that day cleaning and blessing more than any of the toys she received just a few weeks later.
Children are never too young to learn generosity, and nothing prepares a heart for Christ like practicing generosity. As we travel through this beautiful preparation time of Advent, let us roll up our sleeves, grab some boxes, and make room for Christ. Share your blessings, train your children, and wait upon the Lord. God is never outdone in His generosity.
What can you do during this time of preparation with your family to make room for Christ in your heart and in your home?
Mother Mary, today I pray to you for guidance on how to best prepare my heart, my home and my family for the coming of Christ. Blessed Mother, you were the first to have this amazing privilege, and I can think of no one better to ask for help during this time. Pray for us, that we may be ready today and always to welcome Christ in!
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Allison Gingras