The following is a reflection I prepared for an Advent session…..
Christmas is all about giving!!
The lord loves a cheerful giver!!
Giving is better then receiving â€“ or so they say
But what about being a good receiverâ€¦
It seems to me that receiving is much harder
And when we think about it isnâ€™t receiving what Christmas is actually all about
Giving is relatively easy â€“ it may challenge our selfishness or priorities
But giving doesnâ€™t expose our needs
I donâ€™t like surprises, why? Because Iâ€™m not in control..
What if I get something I didnâ€™t like or want â€“ what do I say?
Do I lie and say how much I like it, do I have to be grateful?
Knowing that I will either give it to someone else or give it to a charity shop.
Have you ever received a Christmas gift from someone you hadnâ€™t expected one from?
What do you do? Do you feel guilty and rush out and buy them a token gift?
What happens if that gift is perfect, something you really appreciate and yet you had no idea that you would like it.
Mary was open to receiving an unexpected gift,
She welcomed and wondered at the gift given and created space within her to receive it.
This unexpected gift radically changed her life
She ultimately gave over her whole world to this gift.
Giving can make us feel powerful, competent, self-sufficient and capable sort of people, giving doesnâ€™t expose our needs.
Learning the art of receiving calls us to intimacy, honesty, openness and evaluation.
To receive the love of another, calls me to intimacy, I have to expose something of my inner world, of who I am. To receive anotherâ€™s love I have to allow my innermost self to be touched.
To receive I have to open my hands, ( I love the Eucharist in this sense, this childlike openness to receive the body and blood.
Inner growth comes from opening ourselves up to receive from others
Christmas is about receiving the love that Jesus offers to us.
To be loved means that I must bring myself with all my insecurities, pain and needs to be embraced by another.
To be on the receiving end of love requires that we see our lives not as our possessions, but as gifts. Emptiness is a gift, to have enough room, to not be too full. To be needy, poor, weak, can be a gift.
Ultimately the gospel is about receiving a precious unbelievable gift, the gift of God being born in us.
When Mary offered space, love and belief in her life, her life changed forever.
Learning the art of receiving is a powerful call to change.
In receiving I need to welcome the other
In receiving I need to make room and space to accept that which I frequently fail to realise I need.
In receiving â€“ I change.