January 3, 2016 - Epiphany, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
There’s an old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” But this old saying is just not true. It is not the thought that counts. Upon more careful reflection, we discover it is, in fact, the gift that counts.
You see, I can think about being a good person, but then if I go out and treat others terribly can I say, “Yeah, but I thought about being a good person. It’s the thought that counts, right?”
I can think about going to church, but then if I don’t go can I say, “Yeah, but I thought about going to church. That should be good enough right?”
God didn’t just think about us. God brought us into being. And God cared enough to send us his most precious gift. God sent us his only son. God gives us the gift of a Savior.
The Three Magi didn’t come bringing tacky knick knacks from the Dollar Store. They brought precious, expensive gifts of Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh.
The Angels didn’t come bringing news of a half price sale. They brought a message of great joy. Today is born a Savior, Christ the Lord.
So this Feast of the Epiphany is an invitation for us to reflect on our own gift giving. Yes. Why? Because it is the gift that counts. GIfts are important.
So as we begin this New Year, I would like us to reflect on four areas of gift giving in our lives.
First, what is the gift I give to myself? As I begin this New Year, can I pledge to take better care of myself?
Can I put my spiritual and physical and mental well being at the top of my lift of things to take care of in this New Year?
Second, what is the gift I give to God? As I begin this New Year, can I pledge to come to be with the Lord each Sunday?
Can I give to God this precious gift of my time? Can I spend time in prayer talking to God yes, but also listening?
Third, what is the gift I give to my family? As I begin this New Year, can I pledge to show greater love and mercy to each member of my family?
Can I also give them the gift of my time? Can I give my family my undivided attention for at least a portion of each day?
Fourth, what is the gift I give to the Church? As I begin this New Year, can I pledge to help save the Presbytere?
Can I give $20 at the beginning of each month to enable us to continue our restoration work?
There’s an old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” But that’s just not true. In this New Year can we turn our good thoughts into good actions?
During this Christmas Season, we celebrate God’s most precious gift to us. And we come to understand that it is the gift that counts.