Thought For Today
'Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.' ~Francis Church, New York Sun, 1897
There is a lovely story about a girl who wanted to write a letter to Santa Claus. "Of course dear," said her mother, "You want to tell him what you would like for Christmas then?" Her daughter shook her head, "I just want to tell him I love him," she simply replied.
Today is the feast of St.Nicholas. He came from a wealthy family and decided to give all his money to the poor. He always did so quietly and without fuss. He would drop some gold coins down the chimney of those who were really poor. People wondered who the generous donor was. One day someone found out it was Nicholas. His name and fame began to spread to many countries and so Santa Claus as we know him today came into being. We give gifts at Christmas because we know deep within that it's good to express our love for those who are special and important to us. Thanks to Nicholas, Santa is alive and well. Our world would be such a darker place without his inspiring presence.
Thought For The Week
"One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God's arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust knowing that it is God who gives us that faith."
~ Michelle Blake
This first weekend of December marks the beginning of our journey of Advent. It usually coincides with the Toy Show on RTE and again Friday night's programme was packed with fun and energy. The season of Advent is filled with opportunity, promise and spiritual things to do in getting ready for Christmas. But for some reason Advent is a season that always falls short. The Advent wreath is probably the best known symbol of Advent but after that it struggles to connect.
Maybe Advent was always going to struggle, especially as it coincides with a busy time of year for everyone. But I firmly believe it has much to offer and is full of meaning and deep symbolism. In the depth of winter we know that darkness is very prominent. Advent puts the spotlight on light and good news. Where there is light there is hope and meaning in our lives. Advent is a celebration of our good news. Even when we sometimes struggle to see it or appreciate it, it is very much there and it is ours. It is healthy, important and life giving. Christmas is a wonderful celebration of our good news.
Equally the good news of Jesus in our Gospel stories is extraordinary, life-enhancing and life changing. But it often gets lost in a lot of unnecessary complaining, wishful thinking and idle projects that go on around us. The challenge is to bring this good news alive and to believe that it does make a difference. This is at the heart of the Christmas message. The birth of Jesus is a reminder of God with us and among us. It's not just about some event in the past but all about the difference it can make in our lives right now.
Thought For The Week is updated each Monday