A Christmas Sermon – The Highland County Press


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By Fr. Mike Paraniuk
Sainte-Marie Catholic Church
And the Catholic Church of St. Benignus

On Christmas Eve, a husband went shopping to buy a Christmas present for his wife. He walked into a cosmetics store and asked the saleswoman, “May I see your perfumes?” ”

She showed him a $ 150 perfume bottle. “Too expensive,” he muttered. The young woman came back with a smaller bottle for $ 75. “Still way too many,” he growled.

Increasingly annoyed by her meanness, the saleswoman took out a small $ 30 bottle and offered it to her. He grew impatient, demanding, “Please show me something really cheap!” “

The saleswoman handed her a mirror.

Every Christmas, God hands you a mirror. He wants you to see where to find the most real, true, and lasting joy in life. Christmas shows you where it is.

Real joy is in the act of giving without expecting anything in return. All Saints have one thing in common. They have generously dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others. The ultimate meaning of life is to make others happy.

Gandhi said, “To find yourself, lose yourself in the service of others. ”

Jesus said, “He who seeks his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 10:39.)

My first mission was in 1981 as an assistant priest in western Cincinnati. I befriended a family who invited me to their home on Christmas Day.

Judd, the father, showed me one of his gifts. It was a 1981 Zenith table radio. This radio was “the bomb”, the best radio made that year. I wanted to buy one but couldn’t afford it for $ 129 ($ 305 today).

I immediately broke the 10th Commandment. I coveted my neighbor’s radio. Judd let me turn it on to “test” it. It was a pure delight.

I visited a few other families before returning home. Upon my return I saw the coveted Zenith radio sitting on my porch with a ribbon on top. There was a note that said, “I’m happy to give you this gift.” Remember me every time you play it. My love, Judd.

Forty years later, I still have this radio. I still use it every morning. I start my day remembering Judd’s generous gift.

Jesus wants him to be remembered. He wants us to be remembered for giving us the greatest gift – the gift of His Love. Jesus took a human body to show it. Jesus gave his life to give us eternal life.

Catholics believe in Mass that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus glorified. The Incarnation of God is renewed in Holy Communion.

Jesus, through the priest, closes the prayer of consecration with: “Do this in remembrance of me. What is the “this” that we should be doing? The “this” is to make your life a gift of love, to use your life to help others, and to offer your life in service like Jesus did.

Jesus said, “Remember, I did this for you. Now do this for each other, in remembrance of what I’ve done for you.

Jesus was born again with all the good deeds of kindness in your heart. God says in Titus 2:14 that we should be “desirous of doing what is right.”

Shortly after Judd gave me the radio, he had a real Christmas in Heaven.

I remember him saying to me, “Father Mike, I bet someday you’ll have your own radio station.

I laughed at the thought. Thirty-three years later, his prophecy came true when WLRU aired on St. Mary’s on December 24, 2014. The first live broadcast was the midnight Christmas Mass.

It’s ironic that I listen to the station almost every morning on the same Zenith radio Judd gave me on Christmas Day 1981.

“Shine your light so that others can see the good you do and praise your Heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:16.)

May Love shine brightly from your home, your hearth and your heart every day. Merry Christmas.

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