This Christmas season, may we remember that we have more in common with others than we have differences. May we extend the love of Christ to everyone we meet.
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” —Matthew7:1 (nrsv)
When my husband, Charlie, and I decided to volunteer at the shelter, I figured I’d arranged a nice, little controlled situation where we could be together while helping others. My plan, however, unraveled. We found ourselves talking about “our people” over dinners, then planning our time around volunteering, checking in on folks during the week, meeting some of their families and, eventually, making plans with our shelter friends just like we would with real friends. Because that’s what they’d become.
We asked two of them to join us for our annual Christmas Eve tradition of early Mass and a car ride to look at Christmas lights. Dan and Jeff met us for church, an infrequent occurrence for them, and then we set out for the drive. We saw brightly lit mangers, spectacular homes draped with colored lights, yards with every imaginable Christmas character, twinkling lights on porches, and glowing orbs in trees so tall they must have been decorated with a crane. Finally, we came to a house decorated with wreaths and spotlights. “That’s my favorite,” Dan said. “Simple. Just simple. My mother would have liked that house.”
I suddenly realized that we weren’t providing our friends with joyous new memories; we were merely extending the traditions they’d experienced years ago. They had not always been homeless and alone. They'd had families just like mine who’d taken Christmas drives and critiqued lights and decorations. It was only one of the ways that they were just like me.
Father, thank You for giving me so many brothers and sisters. —Marci Alborghetti
Digging Deeper: Mt 2:10; Phil 2:8–10