The gift of giving

There is a link between the gift of giving of ourselves and peace. The gift of giving is manifested in both our Second Reading and Gospel for this Sunday.

In the Second Reading we hear how God sent his only Son Jesus Christ into the world. The perfect giving of himself on the cross paved the way for the redemption of all humankind. In contrast to the yearly sacrifices offered by the High Priests each year at that time, Christ’s sacrifice only had to be offered once and for all because it was completely selfless. Christ is referred to as the Prince of Peace because he was completely free to be present to others.

This Sunday’s Gospel story follows Mary giving the gift of her life by saying yes to become the Mother of God. Despite the heavy responsibility Mary is at peace with her choice and this allows her the freedom to continue giving the gift of her life to helping her cousin Elizabeth in her hour of need. Mary indeed lived a blessed life. She was completely free because of her selfless choice.

I believe these readings urge us to understand that the greatest gift that we can give to others is the gift of ourselves. To do that we need to be like Mary where sometimes we need to put our own needs on hold to meet the needs of others. To do that will mean we will have to be prepared to sacrifice our own time and be willing inconvenience ourselves. Sometimes giving the gift of ourselves will be painful but it is also the pathway to living a blessed life full of peace and joy.