Friday, December 2, 2011

"And opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

I used to wonder what it would be like to be with the wise men and the shepherds as they lay down their gifts in adoration before the infant Jesus. Then, a beautiful thought came to my heart... "Why can't you?" The three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh offered to Him as king, prophet, and priest were not just supposed to be given to Him by the wise men. All of us as God's children are invited to the do the same.

As we enter this advent season for the 2-fold coming of Christ, now would be a great time to prepare with your family for the coming of Christmas and to think and pray about the gifts we desire to offer the infant Jesus who waits for us to adore Him and to thank Him for His coming to us in the flesh and offering Himself as a living sacrifice for us so that we can inherit eternal life with Him.

Prepare three empty gift boxes in your home and wrap them in gift wrapping paper and with bows. Make sure you wrap the boxes separately from the box tops so that they can be lifted and easily available for all to put their gifts into during the Christmas season up until the Feast of the Epiphany. Label each box individually as GOLD/(money), FRANKINCENSE/(prayers), and MYRRH (sacrifices & sufferings).

Once Christmas Eve arrives, explain to your children/family what the meaning of Christmas is and why we are celebrating it. Then explain how the wise men came from a far distant country to worship and adore the Christ child, and to offer their gifts to Him. Explain what each of the gift boxes stand for and how we can offer Jesus these same gifts to Him throughout the Christmas season in order to thank Him for all the many gifts He has already given to each one of us.

The money collected in the gift box marked as "GOLD" can be given to Jesus throughout the Christmas season and finally offered to Him on the Feast of the Epiphany by laying this offering in the collection basket at church or given to the poor box or a Christian charity. If you know of a very poor family perhaps you could offer an anonymous donation to them or find some other way to offer this "gold" to the infant Jesus on this day.

The "FRANKINCENSE" or prayers can be written down as you would as a spiritual prayer bouquet. For example, each day write down what prayers you offer to Jesus for someone who is deep spiritual need (i.e., anyone who is suffering from addiction, someone who has left the Church or no longer practicing, etc.,) out of love for Him. Jesus tells us, "That which you do to the least of your brethren you do to Me." It could be as simple as writing down on a piece of paper: "Jesus today I offer you a rosary, or 3 Hail Mary's, or 3 Our Father's, or I offer you my going to Mass for... N... for someone in most need of your mercy. Then just lay the piece of paper in the gift box to Jesus. You can offer to Jesus these prayers each day or whenever you like.

The "MYRRH" can be daily sacrifices, sufferings, or acts of service that you offer to Jesus for the conversion of sinners. For example, you can write down on a piece of paper: "Jesus, today I will clean my bathroom (or help my mother do dishes, or help my dad shovel snow, or help others at the local soup kitchen) as an offering and sacrifice for someone most in need of my prayers. Then just lay this piece of paper in the gift box with your gift mentioned.

There are so many gifts, prayers, sacrifices, and ways we can help Jesus in the poor and suffering that are wasted because we fail to offer them up to Him. During this upcoming Christmas season, teach your children and family how to offer these gifts by laying your own gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh before Him.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog. Why no new posts in over a year??