Msgr Mike's Blog | Giving & Receiving
We are still in the Christmas season of giving and receiving gifts - all done in imitation of our God who gave His Son, Jesus, to the world. There are so many different cultural traditions and customs surrounding this season, but “gifts” seem to be the common denominator in every land. Last Sunday on the Feast of the Holy Family I shared an ancient Jewish folktale and was asked to share it again with you in my January blog.
Two brothers lived in the land of Judah during the time of King Solomon. They were both wheat farmers and through the years always shared equally the profit from their harvest. One night the elder brother went to his barn, and in the dim light of the moon loaded up several bushels from his harvest. He crept through the fields between the houses and left the grain in his brother’s bin. He said to himself, “My brother has seven children and with so many mouths to feed, he could surely benefit from some of my bounty”.
Close to the same time the younger brother also slipped out of his house, gathered several bushels of his wheat and carried it to his brother’s barn. He said “It is not right that we should share the profit equally. After all, I have a wife who cares for me and my children will bring me joy for years to come, but my brother has no one to care for him. I share my wheat to make his life easier.’
The next day when dawn came and the sun lit the sky, each brother was amazed when he went to his barn and discovered that he had just as much wheat as before he had taken any out to deliver to the other. The next night each brother paid the other the same kindness. And so it went on for years. Each morning they were amazed and puzzled by the miracle that occurred each night.
One night both brothers set out at the same time. With no moon shining they could barely see in front of them. They bumped into each other and when each one saw the grain that his brother was carrying, realized what had been happening each night. They embraced each other on that spot and heard God’s voice from heaven say, “Here at last is the place where I will build my Temple, for where brothers meet in love, there my presence will dwell.”
Enjoy the remaining days of Christmastime as we join the Magi of Epiphany in offering gifts to the newborn Jesus. May the gifts we give and receive through this new year strengthen the bonds of friendship and love we share.
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