The Gift of Giving

By Michelle Macicek

Where does joy come from? My guess is that people will answer this question with a variety of answers. When we turn to sacred Scripture, we hear one resounding answer. Joy comes from following Jesus.

Sounds easy right? So why aren’t we all picking up our crosses and sprinting to follow him?

In prayer during this Advent, I was reminded of how the act of giving allows us to experience joy. Jesus came to us and actually showed us and taught us how to give. Not just a material gift, but also the gift of time, the gift of attention, the gift of love.

Recently, I was able to witness the joy from giving in two children’s act of service. The fourth-grade students at our school carried out their service-learning project this month and focused on our elderly by collecting items for the archdiocese assisted-living communities. The students also made Christmas cards in religion class to pass out to the residents.

It was definitely the cards that the students were most excited about. One could tell this when noticing how much work went into decorating them and how much prayerful thought went into the words and Bible verses that filled them.

As my daughter and I and a dear friend and her son delivered these donations, I was struck by the joy on both my daughter’s and my friend’s son’s faces. They were so excited to be a part of the delivery of these donations and cards.

This is one of those moments where I am reminded of the beauty of a childlike faith and pray for the Lord to allow me the grace to put aside the whirlwind of my everyday life and my own selfishness to experience JOY in the simple act of giving!

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