The greatest gift we can give this Christmas, is Christ himself. The beautiful gift of the Lord himself in the Eucharist; the beautiful gift of the Lord through the ministry of our witness to others, by the way we live our lives. I would like to repeat a story that I read for a homily just a few years ago, it is one of my favorites and I hope it becomes one of yours.
There is a beautiful story about a local school that would be holding their annual production of the “Nativity Play,” and also about a kid named Wally, who was nine years old, at the time, and in the second grade, due to the fact that he had challenges that made it difficult for him to keep up with the other children. Wally was that type of kid, bigger than the other kids, but well-liked. Wally was very excited to be part of the Christmas play that year; for he was to play the innkeeper. The play’s director liked Wally and wanted him to be a part of the play, and yet be able to remember his lines, so with Wally playing the innkeeper, she would be able to stand behind the door of the set, and prompt him if necessary.
On the night of the Nativity play, everything was going just as rehearsed, when it came time for Joseph to appear at the Inn. Joseph slowly, and tenderly guided Mary to the door of the Inn, knocked on the door, and it was then that Wally appeared saying; “What do you want?” “We seek lodging,” Joseph said, and Wally right on cue said; “Seek it elsewhere, the Inn is filled.” Joseph spoke again, “Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain, we have come far and are very tired, and again Wally hit his cue, and sternly said; “There is no room in this Inn for you.”
Joseph then said; “Please, this is my wife Mary, who is heavy with child, and needs a place to rest, there must be some small corner for her, please, she is so tired.” This time there was silence and the prompter had to tell Wally to say the words, “Be gone there is no room.” Wally was quick to repeat it; “Be gone there is no room.”
It was then that Joseph, on cue, placed his arm around Mary and with her head on his shoulder, the two of them started to walk away. It was then that people began to notice that Wally had not gone back into the Inn, but instead was watching now with a distant look on his face. Those present saw his mouth open, and his eyes full of tears, and it was then that the “Nativity Story,” this pageant would be different from the others, for it was then that Wally called out to Joseph; “Don’t go, Joseph, bring Mary back, and then his face grew into a bright smile, when he said; YOU CAN HAVE MY ROOM.”
This is what Christmas is all about, not only seeing Christ in others, but a willingness to make room for Christ, in our hearts. From my family to yours, may you have a Blessed, and Merry Christmas.