What did you get for Christmas? Was it everything you’d hoped for? Perhaps you, like me, are at the stage where the gifts are nice, but being together at Christmas is the real gift. Today’s first reading is exhorting us to something similar. While the rest of the world waits in line for hours to get the coveted gift of the year, we have the consolation of knowing that nothing like that is ultimately important, or will ever make us ultimately happy. The real gift that we can receive today, and every day, is the gift of Jesus, the Word made flesh, our Savior come to be one with us as Emmanuel.
St. John tells us quite clearly: “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Because what we have is so much better than anything the world can give. The real gift this Christmas, and really every day, is the gift of eternal life. And we have that gift because Jesus came to earth and chose to be one with us in our human nature. That’s why the angels sang that night, and why we sing his praise every day of our lives.