It’s All About Giving and Sharing- So Be Generous This Christmas
“God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light. But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us, and around us. Whoever hates his brother — writes the Apostle John — is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. Give and you shall receive, so give generously- Love and care for the needy, you will all be truly blessed ” – Christmas message from Pope Francis
” While recalling the words of Pope Francis, “A Church must be poor and serve the poor”, we should celebrate Christmas by extending a helping hand to all those who suffer due to poverty. The concern of every religion and every community is to eradicate poverty. We Christians, have a special mission and responsibility in this regard. Christians should join hands with people of other religions too to wipe out poverty prevailing in the society. Every person, especially the poor in the society deserves respect and dignity. Jesus had great love and concern for the poor, it is also mentioned in the Bible that the poor, sick and marginalized are very close to Jesus. Christmas celebration has meaning when we love the poor. Faithful should respect every person especially the poor and treat them equally and not discriminate them. Christmas celebration should inspire and motivate all to work for the poor “- Rev Dr Aloysius P D’Souza- Bishop of Mangaluru
Mangaluru: “We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day. We’re all part of God’s great big family. And the truth is that love is all we need. So let’s start giving, for it’s true, we’ll make a better day. Just you and me.” – These thought-provoking lyrics by the late pop-star Michael Jackson are quite fitting during this time of the year.
“Christmas is all about giving.” I totally endorse the truth about this statement. Giving is an act of love. The joy of being able to bless and give someone you care, and to make them smile, is priceless. Although Christmas is a festivity for the entire family, children play an important role in it. Children do need love and caring during Christmas, but there are few kids who are less fortunate to enjoy the spirit of Christmas. And that’s when your participation will be strongly appreciated. There also many less fortunate families who need your help.
If you are thinking about doing something to help those less fortunate, Christmas season is the perfect time to open your heart and wallet to give back. The satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of others cannot be overstated. Knowing that you have helped make someone else’s Christmas a little bit brighter is a special feeling, and one that will last with you even after the holidays are over. So if you are looking for a way to enhance your holiday experience, try giving back this year. You’ll be glad you did.
This Christmas time please lend your helping hand to the needy and the destitute. Last Sunday I noticed that when people were walking out, and the beggars were pleading them for alms near the Milagres church gate not many faithful were willing to give alms, they were simply ignoring and walking away from the beggars. I am not saying that we should give alms to every beggar that ask for money-because there are a few who pretend to be poor and then with the money they booze at the nearby wine shop. Give alms to the deserving people-who are old, sick or handicap.
“He that is kindly in eye will be blessed, for he has given of his food to the lowly one.” – Proverbs 22:9. Jesus helped people who were poor, sick, and afflicted, some want to follow his example. They feel that the best time to do that may be Christmas, when charities often put forth extra effort to collect donations. During Christmas time, many people are preoccupied with shopping, entertaining, and visiting friends and family. All of this leaves them with little time, energy, or money to attend to the poor and needy, other than perhaps making a donation.
What Bible principles can help? “Do not hold back good from those to whom it is owing, when it happens to be in the power of your hand to do it.” (Proverbs 3:27) The poor, the hungry, and the afflicted do not suffer only at Christmastime. If you perceive that someone needs help and it is within “the power of your hand” to assist, why wait for a holiday to act? Your kindness and compassionate actions will be blessed. “Every first day of the week let each of you at his own house set something aside in store as he may be prospering.” (1 Corinthians 16:2) The apostle Paul gave that advice to early Christians who wanted to help the poor. Could you ‘set aside,’ or budget, some money that you can regularly give to individuals or to an church or organization that uses its funds wisely? In this way, you ensure that you care for the needy while still giving within your means.
“Do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16) Notice that besides “the sharing of things with others,” we must also remember “the doing of good,” or helpful acts. For example, wise parents train their children to help the elderly with everyday tasks; to encourage the sick by means of a card, a visit, or a phone call; and to take a personal interest in other children who are poor or suffer from a disability. As a result, children learn to be kind and generous year-round.
So this Christmas season let us all be little generous towards the poor, and also continue our generosity towards them during the forthcoming year too. We all can make a difference in their lives. Let us give to the less fortunate families and children a feeling of hope, and make their Christmas cheerful. Better late than never-you still can be Santas by cheering up the less fortunate children and adults in the true Christmas spirit of love and giving, and show them that you care. Yes, we all can do it ! Wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!