The season of Advent is here and for the next month we wait in great anticipation the coming of Jesus at Christmas. As we prepare for Christmas, many of us are trying to find that perfect gift for each of our loved ones. Some of us may have finished our Christmas shopping months ago, while others of us will be shopping until the very last minute.
The Christmas gift-giving tradition should remind us to reflect on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how the physical gifts we give might become expressions of the spiritual gifts within us. As Christians, we associate the very idea of “gift-giving” to God who gives life, new life, spiritual gifts and grace through Jesus Christ. God’s love for us is a pure gift, and he gives us spiritual gifts to offer to one another in order to build up the body of Christ and transform the world. Advent is a time to pause and reflect on the spiritual gifts that we have to offer.
While we focus on giving ourselves at Christmas, in actuality we are hard-wired for giving ourselves every day of the year. We, as God’s children, are blessed with spiritual gifts that are given to us for the purpose of serving the world through the church.
Spiritual gifts are the life of God in us. While physical gifts are expressions of love, friendship, kindness and affection, and are meaningful offerings to one another, our spiritual gifts are from God and meant for our service in the church. God intends that we give these gifts to the church for God’s work in our world.
As Christians, we are all called to be witnesses of God’s great love, we are called to be generous givers and we are called to serve others as best we can.
May the Lord bless you in his love and mercy.
- Deacon Tom Adams is with St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Hot Springs and St. James Catholic Church in Edgemont.
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