Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, with the "Sunday Soundbite" for the feast of Christmas. I want to tell you a true story that happened on a Christmas Eve many years ago.
One of my Franciscan confreres, Brother Tim, enjoys celebrating this season so much we’ve dubbed him “Father Christmas.” Brother Tim credits his love of Christmas to his father. One Christmas Eve in the 1960s when Tim was a youngster, his dad piled all the kids into the car to get them out of the house so Mom could make final holiday preparations. As they drove past Sears, Tim’s father suggested a walk through the toy department, to enjoy the sights and sounds.
One display attracted everyone’s attention—a huge auto racing set.
As the kids oohed and aahed over it, Tim’s dad suddenly said, “You like it? Let’s take it home!” To the utter amazement of the children, he bought the set, squeezed it and the kids back into the car, and they all drove home.Even today, as Tim recalls his father’s extravagant gesture, tears come to his eyes.
The extravagance of Tim’s father reminds me of God’s extravagance in giving us Jesus. Our own Christmas giving is meant to symbolize God’s generosity to us. As we give our gifts—large or small—let’s be grateful that the Father gave us the greatest gift of all.
I’m Father Greg Friedman, with the “Sunday Soundbite” for St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the Web at FranciscanRadio.org.