By Giovanni Madriz | Program Coordinator, Office of Hispanic MInistry
This year my Christmas wishes for those I love are all about me.
I am pretty sure it’s the same for most of us: during Christmas the most noble of feelings surface in our hearts and we can be overcome by a strong urge to share those feelings with those around us. Since the beginning of Advent I have often find myself in my daily interactions wishing blessings upon those I greet when I wake up, when I arrive to my work, or when I casually encounter them throughout the day. As I keep in my daily prayers those close to my heart, I ask that they be blessed with happy and fulfilling relationships, with satisfying jobs with great co-workers, and with plenty of caring friends always at-hand, particularly in those moments when friends are needed the most.
But, a couple of days prior to Christmas I heard Archbishop Carlson say something that has resonated profoundly within me. During his Christmas homily to the Curia employees he sent us to be a blessing in the lives of those we love. All of a sudden I realized I have been praying passively for blessings on those I love, as if this were entirely out of my control. I now have a new perspective on the matter, and it comes with great responsibility: It’s all about me! I must step up to the plate and acknowledge that I’m called to play an active role on being a blessing in the lives of others. What an enormous responsibility this is!
I have had to go back to the drawing table and rethink some of this. I can no longer just pray that those I love be blessed with happy and fulfilling relationships; I now pray that I can bear witness to Christ’s presence in my life, so that I can be the blessing I have been wishing upon them. I can no longer just pray that my friends have satisfying jobs with great coworkers; I now pray that I can be that great coworker I would like everyone else to have. I can no longer just pray that those close to my heart have caring friends surrounding them; I now pray that I can be that caring person always willing to lend a helping hand, a supportive shoulder or a comforting ear.
As you can see, this is not about egotism or being self-centered. My Christmas wishes for those I love are all about me, only because I have realized I am called to be a blessing in the lives of those I love. Merry Christmas to all of you, may your presence be a blessing in the lives of those close to your hearts.
This is the fourth in a 12-day series of posts with the purpose of helping readers deepen their appreciation for, and celebration of, the 12 Days of Christmas, a season which traditionally concludes with the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th.