Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Giving makes it like Christmas every day

LAST week, I attended a wonderful production of A Christmas Carol at the Kenton Theatre.

It certainly helped to fill me with the Christmas spirit, as I hope to change my scrooge-like habits into one who can celebrate the spirit of Christmas the whole year round.

Scrooge’s secret is that he learned to care for the poor, to exercise generosity and practise empathy. Scrooge learned the hard way but we have advent to help us.

Our Living Advent Calendar offers a surprise each evening. If you haven’t attended one this year, I recommend it. It reminds us that Advent is a season of surprises, of joy and hope.

When we open the door of our calendar we do not know what we will find, that’s part of the anticipation.

In a similar way, we are never sure what will happen with our living advent calendar but it often warms the heart on a cold night.

For me, the most important part of the evening is the opportunity to support so many good causes and great charities. This is not an add-on but the essential element of the evening.

We go to support others and in so doing, have an enjoyable evening as well.

It’s not only Scrooge who teaches us this lesson but also Pope Francis — all year around. Recently, the Pope inaugurated the first World Day for the Poor to highlight the needs of those living in poverty throughout the world.

At Christmas, there are many more possibilities than ever to remember the poor by our gifting.

There are ethical choices that care for our environment, the poor and needy.

In our Church, we source our Altar wine from the Holy Land to support the Christian community in Bethlehem.

During Advent, we appeal for the support to make this seasonal challenge last throughout the year.

This is particularly true of the cause closest to my heart: the Henley Food Bank.

Boxes in which donations can be placed for the food bank can be found in each of the churches in Henley.

At Sacred Heart, I ask every parishioner to make sure that at Christmas, the food bank has a present as well.

However, in this regard, we strive to ensure that for the Henley Food Bank, it’s Christmas every day.

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