What Gifts Do You Have To Offer?


Feast Of The Epiphany

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: January 8, 2023

I saw a story of an old grandmother, a good woman, who was about to go to sleep for the evening on a fierce winter night, when a knock came on her door. It was the wise men, and they told her excitedly about the King born in Bethlehem; they urge her to come and honour him. She peeks out the door. It is an awful night, cold and blustery. She looks back at her warm bed, hesitates, and says, “I will see the Christ Child – tomorrow.” She returns to bed.

Well, the next day she packs some food and gifts and goes off to Bethlehem. But the stable is empty when she gets there. She is sad she missed them but determined. In fact, for the rest of her life she looks for the Child. In her endless journey she finds children, finds them everywhere. In many different places and situations. She leaves gifts at each place hoping that it is the Christ Child.

When she became very old and close to death, the Christ Child appears to her wearing the face of every child she has ever touched and offered gifts. She dies happily knowing that, in spite of her first hesitancy, she did indeed find the Child, not in the manger where she expected him, but in the poor and needy where she never expected him.

All of us need to be on a journey throughout our life. Search for the Christ Child. Offer gifts to those we meet. Each day and in each moment, be searching for the Christ Child in unexpected people and places. Be ready to offer gifts to all we meet. What gifts do we have to offer?

The gift of kindness, the gift of a smile, of whatever we are able to give at that time. The gift of our time to listen, the gift of our prayer on behalf of others, the gift of a phone call to someone alone or grieving. The gift of our wealth for those who are struggling without enough.

Like the Wise Men, we all need to be on a journey, searching for the Christ Child. Are you ready to see the Christ Child today in some unexpected place, in some unexpected person? The grace of God, the light of God, reaches out to the whole world, to all people. Offer the gift of your very self to all you meet, offer gifts from your treasure chest. In this way you can meet the Christ Child just like those Wise Men.

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