Advent and Christmas stories to share

Every year of their childhood on the feast of St. Nicholas, December 6, my friend Rebecca’s children awoke to a stack of rectangular wrapped gifts next to their shoes. St. Nicholas always brought them books. On Christmas we celebrate the Word Made Flesh. Why not savor beautiful words from great stories during this Advent and Christmas season to prepare your heart — and the hearts of those in your family — to receive the Word with joy?

Seek the wisdom of Solomon this Christmas

I did not always like Ecclesiastes. For many years, I found this biblical book of reflections, traditionally attributed to King Solomon, disenchanting. God doesn’t speak directly in the book and it has a dark, almost melancholy tone. I felt as if Solomon was saying, “Can’t win, don’t try.” When I shared my complaints about Ecclesiastes with my pastor at the time, Father Jack Shrum, he told me simply, “You need to read it again.” It took me a while to do it, but I’m glad I did. 

‘Nada hay más poderoso que la humildad de Dios’

Tal vez suene extraño decir que Dios es humilde, para sugerir que el Dios que creó el cielo y la tierra, que ES eternamente y que sostiene todo en la palma de su mano, está ansioso de que lo conozcamos y seamos íntimos amigos suyos. Ese es un llamado muy alto y una gran expectativa, en especial cuando algunas religiones consideran a Dios ser eternamente inalcanzable y distante. Nosotros, los cristianos, sabemos que las cosas son muy distintas: Dios es humilde, Dios es amoroso, Dios es misericordioso y Dios quiere nuestra amistad. De hecho, nos ha creado para tener plenitud y estar en paz en una relación verdadera con Él.

‘There is nothing more powerful than the humility of God’

Perhaps it sounds strange to say that God is humble, to suggest that the God who created heaven and earth, who eternally IS and who holds everything in the palm of his hand, is anxious for us to make his acquaintance and become his intimate friends. That is a tall order and quite an expectation, especially when some religions consider God to be eternally unreachable and distant. We Christians know that things are quite different: God is humble, God is loving, God is merciful, and God desires our friendship. In fact, he has created us to be fulfilled and at peace in a real relationship with him.

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