The Magi brought frankincense and myrrh, very precious at the time. What value do we have to give?
I have always loved the story of the widow’s mite. It is a good reflection for this season, when some have so much and others so much less. “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” (Mark 12: 41-44)
“The Gift of the Magi” by O’Henry is a short story of a poor couple who were rich in love.
The young wife sold her beautiful knee length hair to buy her husband a chain for his watch, and he sold his watch to buy her combs for her hair.
The nature of sacrifice is mysterious. It is as if when we give something that is of great value to us, God matches or amplifies that gift.
These days, most people don’t have money to spare. Truthfully, to sacrifice money that the family needs for basic expenses of food, clothing, and hydro is not wise.
However, we all have something to give, something to sacrifice, which means “to make sacred”.
• We can give our time to someone who is lonely.
• We can give a listening ear to an elder who needs to tell their story.
• We can do a service for someone unable to do it for themselves, such as painting or clearing a yard.
• We can get on the floor and play with a toddler.
• We can take an interest in what an older child is doing.
• We can cook something special for our family.
• We can thoughtfully offer a gift to a neighbor.
Just as the widow’s sacrifice was precious, so are the gifts of our time, our attention, our money, or our love.
This special season reminds us that God loves a cheerful giver, and that “whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6