Daily Reflection
January 5th, 2007

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of St. John Neumann (US)
1 John 3:11-21
Psalm 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5
John 1:43-51

“If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.”

As I write this reflection it is about 10 days before Christmas and I have just spent several hours running from store to store. I’ve heard canned Christmas carols playing everywhere; the religious displays seem as commercial as the Santa Clauses.

Today’s reading from St. John is a bracing antidote to the abuse of the Christmas season. It reminds us of what this season is supposed to be about. Maybe readers suffering from post-Christmas lag will benefit from it as much as I did before the holiday.

I’m often struck by how we indulge in an orgy of giving before the holiday but do little giving after it when it may be needed more. Here are a few tried and true starter ideas for “loving not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” These gifts of time and caring might be our most important of the season.

• Review your Christmas card list then write a real letter to Aunt Harriet or Grandpa Bill to supplement the scrawled note and newsletter you just sent. Or call and chat. Ask about the old days. I assign my journalism history students to do this and it’s hard to say who enjoys the exercise more.
•Collect food for a pantry. People keep eating throughout the winter. By March, the shelves of a lot of pantries are pretty bare. Find a restaurant that would donate day-old baked goods to a homeless shelter then collect and deliver the food once or twice a week.
• Call someone with whom you are feuding. If it doesn’t work, try again.
•Baby-sit for a parent who can’t afford a sitter or give an hour’s break to someone caring for a shut-in or Alzheimer’s patient. Walk the dog for someone who loves her pet but can’t do that during winter.

I’m sure that readers will come up with lots more creative ideas to supplement these obvious suggestions. Maybe we can even ignite an old style Christopher (light just one little candle) reaction. It’s not too late to celebrate the birth of Christ as He would have wished!

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook