Christmas is the season of gifts because in this season we hear about gifts.  The Magi brought gifts to the Christ Child.  And God gave the world the greatest gift of all – his only Son, specially wrapped in swaddling clothes, the symbol of our humble humanity.
The birth of Jesus is God’s gift to a people covered in darkness and shielded by a thick cloud, as Isaiah (Ch 60) describes.  God desires the liberation of his people and his great design to make them a radiant light for others. For a long time, all the people knew was slavery and shame.  This time, God transforms Israel’s poverty into the riches that is the envy of her neighbors.
The Letter to the Ephesians explains that the gift of God is a mystery, but not a mystery that is unknowable.  Rather it is a mystery that is to be revealed, to be shared so that people may understand the love of the sender.  God’s love is a mystery slowly unwrapped until it fully manifests in the person of Jesus, his Son.
The Magi in the gospel brought their gifts to Jesus but when it dawned on them that Jesus was the greatest gift of all, their lives were transformed forever.  God now leads them by another route, different from the one their lives took before they encountered the God who is now part of the world’s history.
As we slowly say goodbye to this joyful season, as we carefully tuck away every gift we received, let us beg the Lord to reveal to us the love and concern of the people behind the gifts so that we may truly appreciate them. Most specially, let us humbly ask the Lord that we may understand the significance of his own gift of his Son so that as the personal meaning of Jesus for us is made known, we may carry him in our hearts as we walk the way of freedom and light.
Let us thank the Lord for gifts and for the mystery of love behind each of them.