When we go to meet baby Jesus in the manger this Christmas, none of us want to go empty-handed!
Therefore I’d like to propose three simple gifts we can bring to the little King this year.
The gift of frankincense: the conversion of our heart.
Frankincense is the gift of priestly office. Christ the high priest became incarnate to save us. The first thing we can do to thank him for this gift is to take him up on his offer. Before Christmas, let’s go to confession. If you have the time, make it a general confession. Recommit yourself to daily prayer by adding one small resolution to your daily spiritual routine. It could be saying morning prayer, or praying the rosary or saying grace before meals if you don’t already. The point is not to exhaust ourselves, but instead to grow in virtue and form better habits little by little.
The gift of myrrh: the reconciliation of our relationships.
Myrrh is the gift associated with burial and death. The most important thing we leave behind when we die is the legacy of our family and friends. Did we help them get to heaven, or were we a stumbling block for them? Let’s recommit ourselves to renewing and improving our relationships with our friends and family, especially those relationships that are strained or broken. Now sometimes, patching up a relationship on our end alone is impossible. In those cases, let’s commit ourselves to praying for that person. For most people, however, simply spending more time with them or staying in better touch will suffice!
The gift of gold: the recommitment to promoting the common good.
Gold is the gift associated with kingly office. All of us through baptism and confirmation are called to be missionaries in the world and to promote the common good of all. Let’s pledge ourselves to give of our time and treasure (our gold!) to worthy causes. This could be joining the Knights of Columbus, praying outside an abortion clinic, supporting a political cause, serving at a soup kitchen, or volunteering to help a good politician’s campaign. Most of all, let’s recommit to fighting for a good cause we have despaired of in the past. Maybe we’ve let ourselves be convinced that abortion is here to stay or that religious liberty will forever be diminished. But we know with God all things are possible so giving up is not an option.
Christ came down to earth to save our souls, to heal our broken relationships, and to sanctify the world. We can offer him no better gifts this Christmas than to become more serious about saving our soul, more energetic in strengthening our relationships, and more passionate about making this world a better place.
If we commit ourselves to doing these three simple things, we can go to meet the little King with our arms full of the gifts he desires most. Now that’s a Merry Christmas!