By Greg Zambrano 

When I thank God for his most amazing, essential and fundamental grace, the grace of life came to mind recently when I reflected on Jesus’ Nativity. We are given, at conception, the most brilliant gift – existence. 

Whenever discuss the importance of thanksgiving to God with my children, one exercise comes to mind. I ask them to stand away from any object and to stretch out one hand. They can wave their hand up and down, side to side. At that point, I ask if they can feel anything. No matter how many times they try, they reply that they don’t feel anything. 

Then, I ask them to tap, smack or slap the top of their heads and see if they feel anything. They say yes.

I explain that without stretching they feel nothing; there is nothing there, vast emptiness. There is no one there. 

But, when they tap their head, there is someone there. I shorten it with the words, “here” and “not here.”

I demonstrate that there is no one potentially named Susie, Billy or Tommy in open space. They are not here because they have not been created. We are here – as evidenced by feeling their heads. It is an immense grace going from not here to here. 

That is the gravity of the importance of the “gift” of life. God created us with free will. To be saints in heaven, we must realize on our own to unceasingly thank him, praise him, love him and adore him because it is the “just” thing to do.

When I kneel before my dear infant Jesus, I remember the Christmas novena. I have arrived at the stable. I kneel in front of my Lord and kiss the soles of his feet. 

This meditation further reminds me of the famous painting of “Christ Crucified” by Anthony van Dyck in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Mary Magdalene is shown kissing the feet of Jesus while he is crucified. 

I thank the Lord for redemption and abundant graces, and, at all times, unceasingly praise him. 

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