From the Pastor’s Desk

Do you have your Christmas shopping done? Shopping is one of my least favorite things to do, and I typically wait until the last minute. Gift-giving is just not one of my “love languages.” That is to say, I do not often use gifts to express my affection or admiration.

Our God, on the other hand, loves to give gifts. For example, the Father pours his grace and mercy into our hearts each day. Jesus offers us the Word and Sacrament in the Mass. Whenever we turn to him, the Holy Spirit showers us with his sevenfold gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

Of course, I am speaking of spiritual gifts, not material ones. God extends his hand to touch our soul, which is the most central, interior part of ourselves. It is true that God blesses us materially, and he can heal and strengthen our bodies as well. At the same time, we recognize that most of God’s gifts are immaterial, perceivable only by faith.

In youth group last weekend, I heard a talk precisely on this topic. The leader shared with our young people that it is okay to want the most recent iPhone, new shoes, or video games for Christmas. However, a spiritually mature person of faith appreciates the best gift of all: God the Father’s love manifested perfectly in the birth of his Son for the salvation of the world.

It is not just God who gives spiritual gifts. You and I can share with each other love, forgiveness, and patience. We can touch the heart of another person through our kindness, humility, and joy. As we have been blessed in our soul by so many gifts from God, let us be generous in sharing spiritual gifts this Christmas and always.

Fr. David Schalk