We are familiar with Luke’s quote of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 NABRE). It is also useful — especially at this time of year — to realize that it is also blessed to receive gifts graciously.

Most of us have a relative or friend who just cannot receive Christmas, birthday or any other type of presents with grace. “Why did you do this?” “You shouldn’t have.” “This is too expensive.” These remarks are unremarkable because we eventually get used to hearing them. Sadly, these comments are made by someone who truly does not believe he or she deserves such a gift.

Whatever the reason, comments or questions such as these do not make the giver happy. After all, that person put a lot of time, effort, thought and love into choosing the present. The giver eagerly anticipates the look of joy on the receiver’s face when he or she opens the present. Then, it turns out that disappointment is what is unwrapped.

God wants our love, but He does not need it. We accepts our gratitude, but He does not need it. He wants to see us to see us accept the invaluable gift of His love, but He does not see it.

After all, we will celebrate on Tuesday the birth of God’s Son Jesus. What could be a greater gift than for the Son of God to be incarnated as one of us in order to suffer and die for our sins to conquer death and give us eternal life? Everything we have, everything we do is through the grace of God.

What will be our response? Let us hope that we can accept the gift of God’s love graciously and with gratitude. We don’t deserve it, but it is a present that we can open every day of this life and enjoy forever in our next life.


Open God’s gift of love with joy.

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