May the Christ Child fill our hearts with love Print
Seeing with Jesus' Eyes
Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

Seeing with Jesus' Eyes, a column by Fr. Donald Lange

I especially remember the Christmas when Donna taught me that Christmas is about love. We were a family of five children plus Mom and Dad.

Donna, my seven-year-old sister with a generous heart, wanted to buy a present for every member of our family. This was an ambitious undertaking for a little girl, because our family was poor.

Donna launches her project

This meant buying six presents. Undaunted and inspired by love, Donna launched her ambitious project. Mom, relatives, and friends helped by manufacturing odd jobs for her. She saved her pennies and nickels. In those days, nickels were like quarters today.

One by one the presents miraculously appeared under the tree. I quickly spotted mine! It looked like a box of BBs, the kind we boys sometimes shot at windows.

But, filled with the Christmas spirit, Donna was so happy that my greed-o-meter kicked in. I rationalized that no one could be that happy over a mere box of BBs. I surely deserved more than that.

But on Christmas I discovered that my Christmas present was just a box of BBs. I was disappointed. “Is this all I get?” I grumbled angrily.

My ingratitude hurt Donna’s feelings. She began to cry. Donna had the spirit of true Christmas love. I did not! I was the Grinch who tried to steal Christmas.

God gives his Son to us

In John 3:16 it says, “Yes, God so loved the world that God gave us his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die, but may have eternal life.”

God loved us so much that he sent his son Jesus, who became like us so we could become more like him.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton wrote that, out of love for us, God’s mighty hands that created the sun, moon, and stars were too small to touch the moist noses of the cattle. He became a helpless baby who had to be fed by his mother.

Christ models love for us

When Christ the Word became flesh, he modeled for us how to love by going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, forgiving seven times seven, and dying on the cross to redeem us from sin. When Jesus returned to the Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to love as he loved.

Since Christmas brings families together, we can respond to God’s gift of Christmas love by worshipping as a family and by thanking God for the blessings of family, friends, Jesus, and the “Donnas” in our life. We can make ourselves more present to the presence of God and family.

Parents can take their children to the crib and tell them that Jesus was born to bring peace to the human family and our family. Christmas is truly a feast of love.

Truly celebrating Christmas

The spirit of Christmas can inspire us to write, call, or pray for a forgotten, hurting, or lonely person. It can motivate us to remember our service men and women and those who are homeless. Christmas can move us to do a loving deed in the parish, family, or work place.

To truly celebrate Christmas we must receive Christ in the crib of our heart so that, through the Holy Spirit, Christ graces us to love as he did.

May our Christmas be filled with the joyful giving of Donna — who reflected the love of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the angel’s joyous song of peace. Let’s pray and work for peace on earth and good will to all during the New Year. May we receive the love of Jesus so we can enrich the world with embraces of Christmas peace and love.

Fr. Don Lange is a pastor emeritus in the Diocese of Madison.