By Jessica Farrenkopf, Columnist
Christmas is a time of giving. At least, it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, with the consumerist culture of modern America, many of us have fallen into the trap of wanting to get, get, get, rather than to give. We focus on how many gifts we receive, rather than the presents we give to other people. But not everyone is as fortunate as many of us are, and it is just as important to provide for them as it is to give to our own families and friends.
Why is it so important to give to the poor, you might ask. Let’s start with the obvious. Jesus calls us to care for the poor and oppressed. Caring for the impoverished is a central part of Jesus’s ministry. As Catholics, we are called to live out his ministry in our present world, even though almost everything about our modern day reality is different from when Jesus was living incarnate among us. It is difficult in a culture of consumerism to want to give, but there are many reasons why we should take the time to give this Christmas season, and also many ways we can do so.
The first thing everyone thinks of when asked to give to the poor is money, which is the reason why so many people are unwilling or unable to help others in need. But Jesus did not only call us to give money to the poor, and recognizing this provides outlets that make it all the more easy to give. Since it is easier, we should all make an effort to give to someone in need. Jesus calls us to give not only with money, but to give food, shelter, love, acts of kindness, and time. Some simple ideas for giving this Christmas season are to volunteer with a local church or organization that helps the homeless, pass out bags full of food and necessary clothing items that can be made by yourself or donated, or giving moral support to someone in need.
There is nothing better than seeing the face of someone light up when you give them something they really need, no matter its monetary value. So be generous this Christmas with whatever you can, and be the light of Jesus in the world.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!