Joyce Mancinelli
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This reflection is reprinted with the permission of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine.

"Someone's bound to ask you what you got for Christmas. Perhaps you'll tell them you had a lovely bouquet of flowers, a special box of your favourite chocolates, or a book you have been hoping to read. Will you tell them you were gifted with the best gift anyone could ever give you? Will you say that God loves you so much that, again this Christmas, He gave you the ultimate gift, the gift of His Son....the gift of Love? We might amass our little pile of gifts and marvel how much we must be loved to have been so richly gifted. We might wonder how best to put these gifts to use. We could invite a neighbour in to enjoy the flowers, share the chocolates with friends, and the book, we will read and pass on to a fellow reader. Will we look upon the gift God gave us, the Baby Jesus, and marvel at the love He brings into our hearts? Today, we read in 1 John 3:16 to 20 that the greatest act of love was that of Jesus laying down His life for us. Real love is in taking action, not in just talking about it. Love is reaching out to others. Will we dare to ask God to show us opportunities to reach out to others? Will we ask Him to help us dare to share His love in unexpected moments? Will we pray for a spirit of love toward others?
To give one's life is the ultimate gift, but few of us are asked to do so. Let us serve others with no thought of receiving anything in return. As we love and serve others, we find ourselves entering more deeply into God's love for all of creation."

Carolyn Madely