Monday, December 21, 2015

Fourth Monday of Advent: Gift-Wrapped Moments

Today’s Gospel is wrapped in delight as Elizabeth is overcome with happiness for Mary.  Elizabeth, “filled with the holy Spirit,” cries out, “For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” (Lk 1:41, 44)  Elizabeth is ecstatic about witnessing such an abundance of blessings from God.  This story is a reminder of happy moments in our lives that are gift-wrapped and tucked into everyday interactions.  These moments often reveal themselves to us when we least expect them.  Realizing these moments is one way God reminds us of His love.

The week before Christmas vacation is a unique type of frenzy for the elementary school teacher.  It is filled with Christmas Program rehearsals, class parties, and children who nearly forget the daily classroom routine.  Even though this was not my first year teaching, I was caught off guard by the amount of energy that this week drained out of me.  I felt too tired to visit my fiancé.  I could barely string more than two sentences together if I remembered to call him before going to bed each night.

We were finally able to see a movie together on my first day of Christmas vacation.  I tried very hard not to fall asleep, feeling I needed more rest to recover from the week.  We stopped by a local coffee shop afterwards.  The owner took our order, and we started a conversation with him about the history of his shop.  He shared his experiences about opening two businesses on his own.  Then we asked him if it was worth all the hard work.   The owner said he made good money, but then he paused. He pointed to both of us and said, “See the smiles on your faces?  The laughs you share?  That is more important.”   We all smiled.  This moment between my fiancé and me was something money couldn’t buy.  It was wrapped in God’s love.  This moment reminded me of the gift God gave me in the form of a loving companion.

Recall a moment that brought a smile to your heart.  Where were you?  Was anyone else with you?  What was God revealing to you in that moment?  Be aware of how God may reveal Himself to you today.  Open your heart.  Allow it to leap for joy when you least expect it.

Nathalie Medina

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