Sunday, April 11, 2010

So many gifts under the tree

I am an only child, and before my dad went to the Seminary, we were solidly, solidly middle class with more disposable income than was needed. Given this, and the fact that my mom delights in giving gifts, I was, well, not quite rotten because they didn't let me become so, but I was a touch spoiled. And come Christmas morning the toys I had wanted would be there under the tree, and more and more beside.

As I got older, I noticed something -- even though the income of my parents dipped with Seminary and the number of gifts became less, oftentimes it seemed as though there were too many gifts. . . that I would focus so much on one that I would neglect others. I'd be so enthralled with one CD that it would be days or week before I even pulled the other CD (which I had wanted too) out of its wrapper. It was hard, even seeing how wonderful all the gifts were, to use them all like I ought.

I find this is the way we are in Church - we have a hard time being aware of and using all the gifts we have been given by God. Coming through the 50s and 60s, we were reminded the wonderful gift that the Word of God is -- but it seemed as though just now we are starting to re-appreciate the other gifts God gives us - an increasing appreciation for the Supper (that ought to increase more so!), an improved understanding of the comfort and gift of the Liturgy, and indeed, some are even starting to see the benefits of Private Confession.

By going to the Cross, our Lord set it up that we could be virtually overwhelmed with His gifts. From that tree flow all the preaching, the worship, the Supper, the absolution, the peace, the joy that we receive. So many gifts -- and perhaps it is time that we grow, that we mature, that we see more fully all that God gives to us out of His mercy. And maybe it is time we realize that no matter how much we grow, we will never exhaust or get to the bottom of the usage of all these gifts.

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