The babe in the manger, the greatest of all gifts ever given, the gift of Jesus--what more could we ask for than God’s only son? He is a gift that each of us can have, each of us can cherish, and can pass on from generation to generation. Let us reflect on Jesus today- the supreme and ultimate Gift from God. Jesus is our hope, our joy, and our salvation. Jesus is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
We are all called to live out the commitment, love, and sacrifice exemplified by the Holy Family. As the first Church, the Holy Family reminds us that our families are also meant to be domestic churches centered on Christ. It was in the quiet moments of family life that Jesus was prepared for his ministry, and it is in the small, quiet moments of our lives that we are sanctified. The Holy Family is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
Angels are God’s messengers and our guardians. St. Augustine said that angels are “the mighty ones who do His word, harkening to the voice of His word.” They are pure spirits, immortal and personal beings with intelligence and free will. The nine choirs of angels make up the seraphim, the cherubim, and the thrones. The Seraphim praise God with a burning love. The Cherubim bring the fullness of wisdom and intimate knowledge of God. The Thrones are the angels of pure humility and peace.
Angels are servants of God, protecting us and guiding us on our path to salvation. Angels are a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
Catholic social teaching is always oriented toward upholding the God-given dignity of the human person. The Church’s teachings emerged from Divine revelation and they give us a blueprint to live by in a turbulent and ever-changing society. The Church calls us to care for the poor and the vulnerable, take care of the earth, promote justice, participate in community, and recognize the sanctity of our personhood, both body and soul. Catholic Social Teaching is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
The Divine Mercy message is one of tremendous love and hope. God loves us and wants us to know his mercy is greater than our sins. We need to seek Him, receive His mercy and allow it to flow through us and to others. We can look to Saint Faustina as a constant reminder of God’s Divine Mercy and to live mercifully toward others. Divine Mercy is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
Jesus Christ calls us all to live lives of service and love. By founding schools, hospitals, and numerous other charities throughout history, the Church has heeded that call. The Catholic Church is one of the largest charitable donors in the world, and we have the Church to thank for many high-quality places of education and healthcare. Catholic schools/charities/hospitals are a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
The Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours, is a collection of prayers, psalm, and scripture readings that has been a part of the Church’s prayer life since almost its beginnings. When the Liturgy of the Hours is prayed you are praying as one in the name of the Church, and in union with the Pope, clergy, religious and laity throughout the world who are praying it. It is so powerful when all of our prayers are united together. The Divine Office is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
Throughout history, the Church has received numerous letters, exhortations, and encyclicals from its holy fathers. These works help the faithful examine and reflect on particular aspects of faith and morals, and aid us in living out our call to be missionary disciples. These works are often written in response to a specific need at a particular moment in time. For example, Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae affirmed Church teaching on the sanctity of life and the rejection of contraception right as the sexual revolution began. His encyclical has proven to be vitally relevant up to the present day, as the beauty of God’s plan for married love becomes more and more clouded in society. Encyclicals/apostolic letters and exhortations are a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
The Catholic Church has a gift in the religious communities of women and men. Members take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and devote their lives to God, dividing their time between private prayer, communal worship, and service. Each active religious community has a particular mission for which it was founded, such as education, care for the sick to missionary work. Contemplative religious devote themselves entirely to private prayer, and cloistered contemplative sisters and brothers live apart from the rest of the world. Religious Brothers and Sisters are a gift of the Church and gift to you.
As the Church was founded by Jesus Christ himself, the Catholic Church bears with it through the centuries the fullness of the Truth. He entrusted the Church with the responsibility of passing on this inestimable gift and irrefutable truth of the Roman Catholic Faith as the path to eternal life.
Fullness of Truth is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
Priests and deacons are enabled to minister in Christ’s name and that of the Church. Our priests and deacons bring can administer the sacraments which gives life in the Church and carries on our sacred tradition. In the Gospel according to Saint John, Jesus instructs us that we should “not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life” (Jn 6:27) Priests and deacons work to proclaim the truth that is in Christ and the Gospel. Priest and deacons are gifts of the Church and a gift to you.
We’ve probably all been told to “offer it up” at some point in our lives. Though we might be tempted to roll our eyes at this, it’s actually what we’re all called to do when we face hardships. When we unite our suffering to the Passion of Christ, it becomes a powerful prayer. Just as Jesus’ suffering gave us new life and cleansed us of sin, our own suffering can be offered for the benefit of others. By his Cross and Death, Jesus reclaimed suffering from the enemy and made it something life-giving. So when you find yourself suffering, trust that it is not in vain; Jesus suffered first, he suffers with you now, and he is using your suffering to bring about good. Redemptive suffering is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.
The Holy Eucharist is our most treasured gift of the Church. It is the source and summit of our Christian life and stands above all else. As Advent begins, we wait anxiously for the coming of Jesus. Let us remember that Jesus is truly with us at every Mass in the Holy Eucharist. We receive Him and all the graces He bestows upon us. The Holy Eucharist is a gift of the Church and a gift to you.